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Table 1 Summary of events which have occurred in the New Zealand economy and their consequences for milk purchasing.

From: Global influences on milk purchasing in New Zealand – implications for health and inequalities

Year Event Consequence
1943 Milk Commissioner appointed to identify measures required to ensure adequate supply of milk to New Zealand households at reasonable prices Price controls (under the Milk Prices Authority) allowed retail prices to remain stable and milk was delivered directly to every household improving accessibility Creation of the New Zealand Milk Board
1976 Milk price-fixing lifted Increase in retail cost of milk
1984 Commencement of general economic reforms in New Zealand Removal of import tariffs and encouragement of investment by multi-national companies in particular resulted in increased supply and availability of carbonated beverage Decreasing price of carbonated beverages
1985 Abolition of consumer price subsidies for milk Increase in retail cost of milk
  Industries Development Commission review of milk production and supply to the local market. Milk Act (1988) enacted Deregulation of dairy industry (except home delivery) including removal of price and margin controls and the institution of zoning and milk distribution systems. Reduction of the New Zealand Milk Board's promotional material and programmes
1986 Introduction of Goods and Services Tax Increase in retail cost of milk
1987 Supermarkets authorized to operate as milk vendors  
1989 Goods and Services tax increase to 12.5% Increase in retail cost of milk
1990–92   Milk now more expensive (per litre) than carbonated beverages
1993 Expiry of the Milk Act (1988) Full deregulation of the domestic milk industry
   New Zealand Milk Board disestablished
   Large conglomerate processing companies responsible for production, pricing, promotion and distribution of domestic supply
   Milk supply for domestic distribution integrated with the industry's export arm
   Domestic supply operating under free-market conditions introducing competition within market place
   Prices linked to international commodity prices, rising and falling with global market prices
   Gradual loss of daily delivery to New Zealand households
2001 Dairy Industries Restructuring Act (2001) permits the creation of Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd. Decisions in industry made in terms of capital return for shareholders
2006–07 Increased global demand for dairy produce Record prices for milk producers in New Zealand resulting in benefit for farmers, producers and improved balance of trade but high retail prices for consumers in the domestic market