However in the 1970s, trade and tariff barriers protected New Zealand manufacturers from foreign competition. In the mid-1980s, the country went through a host of market reforms that threw the economy wide open. As a result, our manufacturing steadily declined.
The 'finance, insurance, and business services’ industry (this includes professional, rental, scientific, and technical businesses) has had the largest growth since the 1970s.
Source: Statistics New Zealand