How to close the cinome gap with Australia


The 2025 Taskforce headed by Don Brash to find ways of closing the income gap with Australia is seeking ideas about what needs to be done.

A letter from Don Brash has gone out to dozens of business and community organisations and leaders seeking "a brief submission (2-3 pages) outlining your views about what needs to be done to close the income gap with Australia."

The letter specifically asks for input on the barriers to New Zealand's achieving incomes as high as comparable countries, what the government should do about those issues, and how much difference it would makes if the changes proposed (by the submitters) were implemented.

Dr Brash describes raising productivity and closing the income gap as "clearly the biggest economic challenge New Zealand is facing."

The other four members of the taskforce provide a balance of political and economic views and of practical and theoretical knowledge. They are:

  • David Caygill, a former Labour Minister of Finance who is currently the chair of the Electricity Commission and the upcoming ACC Review, and a member of the Regulatory Responsibility Taskforce
  • Jeremy Moon, the founder and chief executive of Icebreaker, who chairs the Better by Design unit within New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
  • Judith Sloan, a part time member of the Australian Productivity Commission and member of the Australian Fair Pay Commission
  • Dr Bryce Wilkinson: an economist formerly with the Treasury and the CS First Boston who is a close adviser to the Business Roundtable.

According to the Minister of Regulatory Reform, Rodney Hide, the task force will investigate the reasons for the decline in New Zealand's productivity performance over recent years.

The Taskforce is to provide an initial report in November this year, which Mr Hide said "will identify the policy settings and changes that will deliver the productivity growth necessary for a stronger, more prosperous economy."   

The taskforce is to make further reports in 2010 and 2011.

Submissions can be made to


Published on line by the National Business Review on 6 October 2009