After leaving Parliament in 2007, Don returned to business, assuming directorships at a number of New Zealand companies - over time these included ANZ National Bank and Transpower. He was appointed an Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law and Management at La Trobe University in Melbourne for a period of three years the same year, and an Adjunct Professor of Banking in the Business School at AUT University in Auckland in 2008. Following Don's re-entry to politics as ACT Party Leader in 2011, he resigned most of his other activities in order to focus on politics, although he remains a Trustee of the Plunket Foundation.
As part of the Confidence and Supply agreement between the National and ACT parties reached immediately after the 2008 election, the John Key-led Government committed to closing the income gap with Australia by 2025 and to establishing an advisory group both to report annually on progress towards achieving that goal and to make recommendations about how best to achieve it. As a result, the 2025 Taskforce was set up by Government in July 2009, which Don was appointed to chair. The New Zealand Government wound up the 2025 Taskforce in May 2011, following Don's re-entry to politics as ACT Party Leader.
The Taskforce was tasked with investigating the reasons for the recent decline in New Zealand’s productivity performance, to identify superior institutions and policies in Australia and other more successful countries, and to make recommendations on the steps needed for New Zealand to achieve Australian living standards by 2025. The Taskforce's first report, Answering the $64,000 Question: Closing the Income Gap with Australia by 2025, released on 30 November 2009 can also be downloaded by following this link. The Taskforce's second report, Focusing on Growth, was released on 3 November 2010 and can be downloaded by following this link. More information about the Taskforce can be found on the Treasury website.
This page lists some of Don's major speeches and articles (including his activity as Chair of the 2025 Taskforce) between leaving Parliament in 2007 and re-entering politics as ACT Party Leader.
Milton Friedman discusses Don Brash's contribution to lowering inflation worldwide
Don interviewed on 13 April 2011 by Lindsay Perigo on his performance as Leader of the National Party and his possible involvement in a new political party, for Stratos TV, broadcast on 21 April 2011.
Speech to the Auckland Rotary Club on 7 February 2011
An address to the Orewa branch of the New Zealand National Party
Keynote speech given at the opening of the Asian Business and Management Conference in Osaka, Japan, sponsored by the International Academic Forum
Notes for discussion at the Australian Conference of Economists on 27 September 2010
Can the New Zealand Superannuation scheme survive the ageing of New Zealand's population, and if not, what should be done about it? A speech given to the Asset Allocation Summit at the Hilton Hotel in Auckland
Notes for a talk at the Alamos Alliance, Mexico
Two months ago, the 2025 Task Force published its first report on how New Zealand could match Australia's living standards by 2025. It evoked a wide variety of reactions.
A reply to Brian Fallow in the "New Zealand Herald" of 10 December 2009, who argued that in the new global economy New Zealand suffers from some huge disadvantages
Don responds to Herald columnist Garth George's criticisms of the 2025 report on how NZ can catch up with Australia
The Taskforce's first report is available for download
Comments on the global financial crisis at Consilium, hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies in Coolum, Queensland
Speech given at the opening dinner of Consilium, hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies, in Coolum, Queensland
Speech at AUT University delivered soon after Don’s appointment to chair the 2025 Taskforce
Speech to a luncheon hosted by the Institute of Economic Affairs in London
Speech to the Auckland Rotary Club on the economic challenges facing New Zealand
Letter to a friend who felt almost persuaded by Bryan Gould's arguments criticising economic orthodoxy