WorkSafe is a Crown agency, meaning it has its own governance board. Board members are appointed by the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety.
Members of our Board have backgrounds in New Zealand’s work health and safety environment, including work illness and occupational disease, public sector governance, central government processes, worker and business perspectives, administration of work health and safety legislation and risk management frameworks, and business generally.
Professor Gregor Coster CNZM - Chair
Professor Gregor Coster, CNZM, has served on five Crown Agency governance boards over the past 15 years including Pharmac and the Counties Manukau District Health Board where he led significant health care reforms. He is a member of the ACC Board, and serves on the Bevan Commission in Wales providing health and social service advice to the Welsh Government.
He is a former GP and Professor of General Practice and head of department at the University of Auckland from 1995 to 2004. He is currently Professor of Health Policy and Chair of the Improving health and wellbeing in our communities theme at the Victoria University of Wellington.
Ross Wilson - Deputy Chair
Ross Wilson is a former president of the NZ Council of Trade Unions. He has recently completed an assignment as Chief Technical Advisor with the International Labour Organisation in Myanmar.
Of Scottish and Ngāi Tahu descent, Ross has governance experience which includes Chair and Deputy Chair of the ACC, and director of the Port of Wellington, KiwiRail, and NZ Railways Corporation. He is a lawyer with a strong interest in employment and workplace health and safety law and practice, and he brings a worker perspective to the Board.
Paula Rose QSO
Paula Rose QSO is an independent consultant specialising in leadership, performance, safety, and transport issues.
Paula was the Deputy Chair of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety and brings the knowledge, insights, and stakeholder networks gained on the Taskforce. Paula was previously the NZ Police National Manager responsible for Road Policing. Her leadership of road safety involved the development of a systems approach that has contributed to a reduction in the road toll; including initiatives to bring about cultural and behavioural change, together with a more strategic approach to regulatory enforcement.
She is a member of the Parole Board and a director of the NZ Broadcasting Standards Authority.
Chris Ellis is the former Chief Executive of Brightwater Group and was inaugural Chairman of the NZ Business Leaders’ Health and Safety Forum. He trained as an engineer and has a long track record in the Australasian building products and construction industries. He held general management and executive roles in Fletcher Building before his leadership role at Brightwater Group.
Dr Jan White
A medical doctor by training, Jan has worked in medical and general management for over 20 years in both Australia and New Zealand. She has held a number of key health sector posts including six years as Chief Executive of the Waikato District Health Board and seven years as Chief Executive of the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). She is also on the Boards of Pharmac and Central Region's Technical Advisory Services Ltd (TAS).
Stephen Reindler has a background in large-scale infrastructure and heavy industry manufacturing. He is a director of Meridian Energy Ltd, Naylor Love Enterprises Ltd, Broome International Airport Group, Resolve Group Ltd, Yachting NZ and Chair of Waste Disposal Services JV. He was previously a director of the Port of Napier, Stevenson Group Ltd, an advisory director of Glidepath Ltd, a member of the Transfield Services Ltd Advisory Board, and is a former president of the Institute of Professional Engineers NZ. Stephen has led occupational health and safety programmes at Auckland Airport and BHP Steel.
Nikki Davies-Colley and her husband have farmed cattle and sheep for over 30 years and owned companies involved in forest management and harvesting in Northland for 25 years. She is Chair of Northpower, a founding director of the merged Farmlands Co-operative Society Ltd, its subsidiary Farmlands Finance Ltd, and chairs the Farmlands People & Performance Sub-Committee. She is also a director of Landcorp Ltd and chairs the People and Safety Sub-Committee of that company. Nikki has implemented a number of initiatives to improve health and safety in her various organisations.
Ruth Smithers is an Executive from New Plymouth with a background in health and social services. She will be mentored by a WorkSafe Board member and will participate in all Board meetings as an observer and contributor to discussions for 12 months, as part of the Future Directors in the State Sector programme.