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WorkSafe is a Crown agency; we have a 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.

Jennifer Kerr – Chair

[image] Jennifer Kerr

Jennifer is a professional director who has extensive senior executive experience, predominantly in human resources management, in New Zealand and overseas.

Jennifer has strong skills and experience in leadership, change management, stakeholder relations and international business.

Her current governance roles include Chair of New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Deputy Chair of Callaghan Innovation, director of Waipa Networks Limited, director of Eke Panuku Development Auckland and member of the New Zealand Police Assurance and Risk Committee.

Bill Moran – Deputy Chair

[image] Bill Moran

Bill has significant experience in the public sector, particularly in business transformation leadership, and economic and financial expertise. He currently holds governance roles with government, private sector, and not-for-profit organisations.

Bill worked at the New Zealand Treasury for 30 years, and is now the Chair of Sport New Zealand, High Performance Sport New Zealand and the New Zealand Sports Foundation. He is deputy Chair of Community Trust South and a director of Pioneer Energy, Southern Generation, Invest South, Youthtown, and Sky City Charitable Trust Queenstown. He is also an independent member of the Audit and Finance Committee of the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

In 2019 he was awarded a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to State, Sport, and Youth.

Kristen Thompson

[image] Kristen Thompson

Kristen is an experienced lawyer with a background in employment, health and safety, and ACC/personal injury law. She works as a litigator and legal advisor to several not-for-profit incorporated societies and charities, as well as professional bodies.

Kristen has extensive experience in health and safety regulation, and was heavily involved in the policy and drafting process of the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and its regulations.

She sits on a number of other boards, including the New Zealand Institute of Safety Management. She also delivers governance training to crown entity directors.

Bill Newson

[image] Bill Newson.

Bill recently retired as the National Secretary of E tū, New Zealand’s largest private sector union. He has senior governance experience as a Board member of Competenz Industry Training Organisation, a founder and trustee of Apprentice Training NZ, and was a member of the ‘Work Related Health Advisory Group’ advising the WorkSafe Board on occupational health and CHASNZ (Construction Health and Safety NZ).

Bill is a current Board member of Waihanga Ara Rau (the Construction and Infrastructure WDC), a member of the Construction Accord Steering Group (ASG) and MATES in Construction, a Trust that intervenes in the issue of mental health in the construction industry.

Mark Leslie

[image] Mark Leslie

Mark is passionate about health and safety, which he believes should always be at the heart of every operation, as everyone should be supported to get home safe every night.

He is the CEO of Pāmu (Landcorp Farming Limited), and has held various influential roles throughout his career, including operations, logistics, and quality assurance, together with technology and product development. Before joining Pāmu, he served as the Chief Operations Officer at Silver Fern Farms and spent nearly two decades at Fonterra.

His extensive experience has been recognised through various board and ministerial advisory roles. He is currently also serving as a director on the board of Safer Farms, which is about supporting farming leaders and workers to protect each other from preventable harm.

Growing up on a dairy farm in Reporoa on the North Island’s Central Plateau, Mark has a deep understanding of the agricultural sector and its safety challenges.

Elena Trout

elena trout

Elena is an experienced independent director and chair across both the private and public sectors. She has a professional engineering background and has led large projects particularly in the energy and transport sectors.

She has been the independent Chair of WorkSafe New Zealand’s Audit, Risk and Finance Committee since mid-2023 prior to being appointed to the WorkSafe board 

Elena’s current governance roles include Chair of the Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority, Co-Chair of Waihanga Ara Rau Workforce Development Council for Construction and Infrastructure, Deputy Chair for Ara Ake Ltd, and Board member and Chair of the Audit Risk and Finance Committee for Callaghan Innovation. She is also an independent director and chair of health and safety or audit and finance committees for several boards such as Contact Energy, CityCare Limited, Spencer Henshaw, and Te Rāhui Herenga Waka Whakatāne. 

Kevin Jenkins

Kevin is a professional director with extensive experience in the public and private sectors. He is the independent Chair of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand; a Director of urban development firm Harrison Grierson; a member of the Ministry of Health Risk and Assurance Committee and of the Ministry of Defence Risk and Assurance Committee; a Trustee of the Parliamentary Education Trust; and Chair of Iti Kopara, a trust providing professional development for directors of Crown entities among his other roles. Kevin has deep experience in strategy, risk, regulation, public accountability, and public sector governance. 

Paul Connell

Paul Connell

Paul is a finance and governance professional with extensive experience across a wide range of sectors. He is the current Chair of the Auckland Council Audit and Risk Committee; a member of the Waikato Regional Council Risk and Audit Committee; a Director of the Environmental Protection Authority and Chair of its Audit and Risk committee.  

Paul is the current Chair of Telarc Limited, New Zealand’s largest certifier of quality, environmental and health and safety systems and was formerly Chair of the Accreditation Council for nine years. He has governance experience in the electricity sector and is currently a Director WEL Networks Limited. He has extensive and deep knowledge of public accountability, finance, and governance practices.