6 episodes

Forty years ago a brandy-soaked snap election set in motion a seismic chain of events in New Zealand politics. Across a series of extraordinary scenes, Aotearoa lurches from crisis to crisis, with strongman prime minister Rob Muldoon replaced by a Labour Party led by the charismatic David Lange and a finance minister, Roger Douglas, determined to shift the country from the developed world’s most regulated economy to the most embracing of the free market. 

An economic revolution comes alongside a battle with the US over nukes on the global stage, a terrorist attack in Auckland harbour, and sweeping social and cultural shifts. The reverberations are still being felt today – for many, the impacts remain raw. 

In a new six-part series, Toby Manhire interviews more than 20 people at the heart of those changes, dives deep into the archives, and presents compelling audio of David Lange that has never been heard publicly, to tell the story of an incredible, whiplash chapter in New Zealand history.

Juggernaut was made with the support of NZ On Air.

Juggernaut: The Story of the Fourth Labour Government The Spinoff

    • News
    • 4.9 • 219 Ratings

Forty years ago a brandy-soaked snap election set in motion a seismic chain of events in New Zealand politics. Across a series of extraordinary scenes, Aotearoa lurches from crisis to crisis, with strongman prime minister Rob Muldoon replaced by a Labour Party led by the charismatic David Lange and a finance minister, Roger Douglas, determined to shift the country from the developed world’s most regulated economy to the most embracing of the free market. 

An economic revolution comes alongside a battle with the US over nukes on the global stage, a terrorist attack in Auckland harbour, and sweeping social and cultural shifts. The reverberations are still being felt today – for many, the impacts remain raw. 

In a new six-part series, Toby Manhire interviews more than 20 people at the heart of those changes, dives deep into the archives, and presents compelling audio of David Lange that has never been heard publicly, to tell the story of an incredible, whiplash chapter in New Zealand history.

Juggernaut was made with the support of NZ On Air.

    I Love You, Mr Lange

    I Love You, Mr Lange

    Fuelled by brandy and fury, Sir Rob Muldoon calls a snap election, sparking a 1984 campaign of contrasts – the menacing, protectionist National PM against the fresh, upbeat Labour leader, David Lange. The pretext for the election is the decision by Marilyn Waring, a young, gay MP, to back an anti-nuclear bill and quit the National caucus, prompting an earful from Muldoon. Lange, meanwhile, is joined at the hip by a hungry would-be finance minister, Roger Douglas. They are about to confront a profound crisis, and launch a revolution.
    Includes previously unheard interviews with David Lange from the 84 campaign trail, and new and exclusive interviews with Marilyn Waring, Roger Douglas, Geoffrey Palmer, Richard Prebble, Peter Harris, Margaret Wilson, Bob Harvey and Gary McCormick.

    Click here for full details of archive material used in this series
    Juggernaut was made with the support of NZ On Air.

    • 55 min
    The Nation Is at Risk

    The Nation Is at Risk

    Victory for Lange in 1984 comes with a cluster of crises – economic and constitutional. In a pair of spellbinding TV interviews, the bellicose outgoing PM Rob Muldoon refuses to devalue and Lange responds, enraged. The deputy PM, Jim McLay, summons senior ministers, who plot a high-wire response. Out of the maelstrom, Roger Douglas launches a revolution, to transform New Zealand’s creaking economy from the developed world’s most regulated to its most market embracing.
    Including new and exclusive interviews with Jim McLay, Richard Harman, Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble, Stephen Mills, Hekia Parata and Margaret Wilson.
    Click here for full details of archive material used in this series
    Juggernaut was made with the support of NZ On Air.

    • 42 min
    Uranium on Your Breath

    Uranium on Your Breath

    In a tense and divided cold war world, David Lange emerges as an anti-nuclear champion, despite being out of contact, deep in the Pacific when the crisis strikes. The Americans are furious: didn’t the NZ PM pledge to smooth the waters in Labour to allow a US ship visit? They become even angrier when he takes the stage at the Oxford Union, to global acclaim. When an act of state terrorism sees a Greenpeace ship sunk and a photographer killed in Auckland harbour, the public mood on nukes only solidifies.
    New and exclusive interviews with Geoffrey Palmer, former US assistant secretary of state Richard Armitage, Fran Wilde, Richard Prebble and Margaret Wilson.
    Click here for full details of archive material used in this series
    Juggernaut was made with the support of NZ On Air.

    • 51 min
    Quantum Leap

    Quantum Leap

    Roger Douglas’s radical overhaul of the NZ economy kicks through the gears. A new investor class gets high on champagne and shares. What could go wrong? A bonfire of subsidies leaves farmers on their knees. Corporatisation sends thousands of state workers to the dole queue. Labour is returned to power in 1987 despite a campaign with starkly contrasting messages. For Lange, victory is bittersweet. When the global crash smashes New Zealand, Douglas seizes the opportunity to go harder, and go faster.
    New and exclusive interviews with Richard Prebble, Rudi Robinson-Cole, Kevin Geddes, Kim Workman, Bob Harvey, Geoffrey Palmer, Richard Prebble and Margaret Wilson.
    Click here for full details of archive material used in this series
    Juggernaut was made with the support of NZ On Air.

    • 43 min
    Nine Day Wonder

    Nine Day Wonder

    At the urging of the gay community, Fran Wilde takes the homosexual law reform bill to parliament in 1985. The campaign encounters fierce resistance from MPs on both the National and Labour sides of the house. Is it fair for Labour today to claim it as a party triumph? At the same time, strides are being taken in introducing the Treaty of Waitangi into political and legal structures, as part of a blizzard of reforms. In one crucial example, change will come after David Lange misreads his notes.
    New and exclusive interviews with Fran Wilde, Bill Logan, Hekia Parata, Roger Douglas, Richard Prebble and Margaret Wilson.

    Click here for full details of archive material used in this series

    Juggernaut was made with the support of NZ On Air.

    • 51 min
    Juggernaut – out now

    Juggernaut – out now

    The Spinoff presents Juggernaut, hosted by Toby Manhire.
    When a brandy-fuelled Rob Muldoon called a snap election in 1984, the dam burst on a period of unparalleled change in New Zealand. Under David Lange and Roger Douglas, the country witnessed an economy upended, a bold new stance on the world stage, sweeping social and cultural transformations, and bitter personal recriminations. The reverberations of that revolution continue to be felt, 40 years on. 
    Juggernaut was made with the support of NZ On Air.

    • 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
219 Ratings

219 Ratings

What Just Changed ,

Juggernaut

This is a fantastic series for folks like me who remember changes happening but were too busy to pay attention or understand the seismic shift that was happening … amazing to hear Lange’s speeches and having the heartbreaking sense of hearing - at this stage of the podcast (episode 4) - someone who believed things could change for good but who later was lost to the endeavour - looking forward to the future episodes !

Kiwi Charlotte 178 ,

Fascinating podcast

I was a young teenager during this time but was interested in how these events unfolded. Great podcast and insight. Keep going .

BPS57 ,

Brilliant Podcast

This podcast is one of the best I have listened to. Incredibly well written and produced. It was an era in politics I remember vividly. It’s great to hear the background info of the events of that time. Keep it up.

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