A transcript is an exact copy of the things said during an interview. These interviews are with people who lived in our area during the 1980s.
What was the Birkdale area like in the 1980s?
Springbok Rugby Tour
Interview with David Curry-Wood
How did the Springbok tour affect you?
It was the New Zealand society being divided. Up till then NZ appeared to be a very harmonious society so with the Springbok tour it divided people. There were definitely people who were definitely strong for the tour and people who were definitely against the tour and it was sad to see the two sides more or less lining up to a confrontation situation and it was sad that a rugby game was called off. Decisions hadn¹t been made before hand. The game at the Waikato (Hamilton) was called off.
Did you participate in any protests or what side were you on?
I would have to say I was on the pro tour side. I didn’t participate in any protests. I did drive a Birkenhead Transport bus to one game and I have to say that being in the path with the protests going on outside it was quite scary. It really was quite scary.
With all the different things going on?
Not actually scared umm, scared of the unknown, of the potential of what
When you drove the bus there were there two different sides on the bus at the caused a…?
No because all the pro-rugby people who wanted to go to the match.
So you were driving a pro-rugby bus?
Yes. I was.
OK. Was it when you got to the stadium, did anybody confront you or did anything happen?
No, no, no. I think the protesters had been kept well back from Eden Park.
The Stockmarket Crash
Interview with David Curry-Wood
You said before about the stockmarket, something about it. Can you explain?
In 1987 the value of the stockmarket, all the values of the shares crashed. I had not known anything about shares and just before the sharemarket crashed, I had bought some shares and so did my mother and so we paid quite a good price for shares in firms like Brierleys and a firm called Equity Corp.. and there was a sharemarket crash which instantly the values declined and Equity Corp. in 1988 went totally bust so it meant my mother and I totally lost our money. Brierleys are still going today but it’s worth a fraction of what it was in 1987 so even after 15 years it has never recovered. We have never recovered our money there and a lot of people did lose a lot of money through that sharemarket crash.
So there was just a huge crash. Do you know how it happened?
Because shares got over-inflated. Brierley shares which probably were only worth say $1 rapidly went up to something like $6.80 per share which was
well over their value and it reached a point where the market couldn’t sustain it any longer and when the market can’t sustain it any longer it’s got to crash because there aren’t the people around to pay the inflated prices but I think one of the saddest things with the sharemarket crash is apartment stores like Farmers Trading Company. Farmers Trading Company in the city where Heritage Hotel is today, that was a brilliant department store it was particularly good for children because there was a playground up on the top with pedal cars for 5 year olds and 6 year olds. Farmers Trading also had fabulous events such as, every holidays they would have like an Alice in Wonderland cave or grotto or something like that and you would go through this marvellous walkway with all Alice in Wonderland features or it might be on some other character and so they were sort of quite marvellous. Every child knew Farmers and you would always go into town to Farmers and the department stores were like that. There was George Courts. There was John Courts. Milnes which has completely gone now. Department stores were particularly good for children because they always had something to cater for the children whether it be a ride on an amusement thing or food halls or something like that to take your children so the sharemarket crash did have quite an affect on NZ life.