The impacts of deregulation on New Zealand's agricultural sector are examined. Economic liberalization of all sectors of economic activity is the hallmark of current economic policy designs in New Zealand. This is in sharp contrast to previous policies reliant on massive government assistance to and intervention in agriculture. The study provides insights into the cumulative and distortionary extent of previous assistance policies, discusses the rationale in removing public financial assistance, and reviews the readjustment process. As a case study, New Zealand's experience reveals difficulties which may confront farmers in other economies where policy makers seek a return to free market conditions.