New Chair for WorkSafe New Zealand Board

  • Hon Iain Lees-Galloway
Workplace Relations and Safety

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway today announced the appointment of Mr Ross Wilson as the new Chair of the WorkSafe New Zealand Board.

Mr Wilson is currently the Deputy Chair and has been acting as Chair since Professor Gregor Coster’s resignation from the Board earlier this year.

“I am delighted to appoint Ross Wilson as the Chair of WorkSafe New Zealand. He has extensive leadership and governance experience and has been a tireless workplace health and safety advocate for over 30 years.

“Mr Wilson is highly regarded by businesses and unions, and I am confident WorkSafe New Zealand will continue to strengthen its relationships with stakeholders under his leadership,” Mr Lees-Galloway says.

Mr Lees-Galloway also reappointed Dr Jan White as a member of the WorkSafe New Zealand Board. Both Mr Wilson and Dr White were reappointed for three-year terms.

“Dr Jan White has made a valuable contribution with her extensive health sector and commercial knowledge. I am pleased the Board can continue to benefit from her experience, as WorkSafe continues to embed and promote good workplace health and safety practices,” Mr Lees‑Galloway says.

WorkSafe New Zealand

WorkSafe is a Crown agent under the Crown Entities Act 2004, established as New Zealand’s workplace health and safety regulator under the WorkSafe New Zealand Act 2013. WorkSafe’s focus is to embed and promote good workplace health and safety practices.   

WorkSafe has an independent board, with members appointed by the Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety.

Ross Wilson

Ross Wilson has been Deputy Chair of the WorkSafe New Zealand Board since its establishment in 2013, and is currently Acting Chair. He is a former president of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions and is a lawyer who has specialised in employment, workplace health and safety law, and mediation.

Mr Wilson is of Scottish and Ngāi Tahu descent and has had governance experience as director of the Port of Wellington, KiwiRail, New Zealand Railways Corporation, and as a prior director and Chair of the Accident Compensation Corporation.

For the past ten years, he has been involved in international development work and was Chief Technical Adviser for the International Labour Organisation in Myanmar from 2012-13. He is currently Chair of the Unions Aotearoa International Development Trust, the Major Arc Media Trust and the Education Benevolent Society.

Mr Wilson has published articles on occupational health and safety and accident compensation and has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to improving workplace health and safety. 

Jan White

Dr Jan White was first appointed to the WorkSafe Board in May 2016. She has worked in medical and general management for over 25 years in both Australia and New Zealand and is currently on the board of Pharmac. Previously, Dr White was the Chief Executive of ACC for five years, the Chief Executive of Waikato District Health Board/Health Waikato and a founding executive member of the New Zealand Business Leaders Forum on Health and Safety. 

During her career, Dr White has been a member of a wide range of governance bodies including trusts, cooperative societies and subsidiaries of Crown entities. She has strong commercial acumen with the ability to quickly identify key business drivers and issues with a focus on optimisation of value for money. She also has extensive knowledge of the workings of large organisations and strong working experience of the boundaries between governance and management. Dr White continues to consult, predominantly in the health sector, in both New Zealand and Australia.