Very few New Zealanders have lives unaffected by the Consumers Price Index (CPI). It is used by the New Zealand government to adjust student allowances, welfare benefits, and superannuation; by the Reserve Bank to guide monetary policy; by the old Court of Arbitration and by employers and employees to negotiate wages; and by the media to inform the public about the effects of price changes on their standard of living. Some of the contributions to this book document the New Zealand CPI as a history of conflicting machinations between unions, employers, public officials, and lobby groups. Others view it as a mirror of domestic social norms and important international developments that eventually turned into a beacon with considerable public trust. Still others emphasize its technical evolution, from a crude selection of prices necessary for a just wage to a modern indicator of consumer satisfaction and economic management. Whichever way you look at it, the CPI is a fascinating window into New Zealand's social and economic history.