How quaint it all seems now.

In 1986, as a junior press secretary to then-Finance Minister Roger Douglas, I carefully planned to put the Budget in the hands of a few dozen 'opinion-formers' ahead of the document's release to Parliament at 7pm.

For reasons unclear to me even now, nobody tried to stop me and somehow it had eluded me that, of the endless stream of confidential documents flowing through the Finance Minister's office, the Budget was unusually secret.

Told that the courier packs for everyone from Council of Trade Unions head Ken Douglas to industrialist Ron Trotter would only

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