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Chief Executive for WorkSafe New Zealand announced

Media release

3 December 2013

Chief Executive for WorkSafe New Zealand announced

WorkSafe New Zealand Board Chair Professor Gregor Coster is pleased to announce the appointment of Gordon MacDonald as Chief Executive, effective 17 March.

Mr MacDonald has had a 35-year career with the UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE). He began in 1978 as a warranted factory inspector at age 21. He is currently HSE’s Acting Deputy Chief Executive responsible for all of HSE’s 2000 operational staff and has been Director of Hazardous Installations since February 2009.

Professor Coster said he was delighted that someone of Mr MacDonald’s international experience and capability would lead WorkSafe NZ in its critical foundation period.

“Mr MacDonald has had an extraordinarily varied career within HSE ranging from leading large operational teams in major hazard industries to operating effectively at a political level.”

At HSE, Mr MacDonald has held regional and national management roles, been responsible for nuclear safety strategy, led major hazards policy which involved considerable liaison within the European Union, and managed business services functions. He spent two years on secondment to the UK Cabinet Office. As head of hazardous installations, he leads a team of 535 staff regulating health and safety in offshore and onshore oil and gas, chemicals, pipelines, explosives, mines and biological agents industries. Mr MacDonald has a degree in history and politics from the University of Newcastle. He and his second wife have six adult children between them.

Mr MacDonald said he was honoured to be appointed WorkSafe NZ Chief Executive.

“I look forward to building on the early progress made by the Board, Geoffrey Podger and the MBIE Health and Safety Group leadership team.

“I see this as a great opportunity to contribute to a significant step-change in New Zealand’s workplace health and safety culture and performance.”

WorkSafe NZ starts operations on 16 December. Mr MacDonald will have a two-week handover from Acting Chief Executive Geoffrey Podger who departs 28 March.


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