The importance of New Zealand's trading relationship with Britain until the 1960s is clear in graphs showing the destinations of exports and the origins of imports. Wool, meat and butter were New Zealand’s most important exports until the later 20th century (top graph). New Zealand diversified away from these commodities at the same time as expanding the countries it traded with (middle and bottom graphs). The process was not an easy one, and New Zealand diplomat Bruce Brown described the period as a ‘thirty year war’.
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Source: Statistics New Zealand (all graphs); G. T. Bloomfield, New Zealand: a handbook of historical statistics. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1984 (middle and bottom graphs).