In the rest of the world they say that if you can remember the sixties you weren't really there - but what was it like in New Zealand? For us the decade began with conservative prosperity - the establishment knew best and most Kiwis knew their place. Doors were left unlocked in postwar 'golden weather' and the All Blacks ruled. Within five years Beatlemania, the pill and the youth revolution saw baby boomers become teenagers in a process of dramatic, head-spinning change. Fashion, hairstyles and music rocked society as lifestyles, gender roles and sexual options challenged the status quo. Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll flourished as the Vietnam War raged and the 'summer of love' flowed on - even the All Blacks began throwing the ball around. By the end of the sixties Neil Armstrong had walked on the moon, the Beatles were fragmenting and the All Blacks were growing long in the tooth. As the good times faded, Kiwis started locking their doors.
After surviving the sixties, Te Kuiti boy Graham Hutchins became a writer, and 'The Swinging Sixties' presents his wide-ranging view of New Zealand in a state of societal flux, when many young Kiwis developed value systems that have survived into the new century.
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