CTU People

For a full list of CTU staff and contact details, click here

Richard Wagstaff


Richard Wagstaff was elected NZCTU President in 2015. He was previously NZCTU Vice President and one of two national secretaries of the Public Service Association.

Richard is currently a member of the ILO Governing Body and the ILO Committee for Freedom of Association. Richard is also a member of the New Zealand Tripartite Future of Work Group.

Richard began working as a full time paid union official in 1988 as a researcher. Later he became an organiser, working in Auckland with PSA members in the health and disability sectors.

In 1997 Richard was appointed as a national operations manager, responsible for PSA members throughout the country in the health and community sectors.  He then took up the position as a national secretary of the PSA in 2000 which he held until becoming CTU President in 2015. The PSA is New Zealand’s largest trade union and as national secretary Richard was responsible for overseeing the implementation of the PSA’s industrial and political strategies and it’s operations.

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Melissa  Ansell-Bridges


Melissa was elected CTU Secretary in October 2019.

Ansell-Bridges was previously the Director of Equity New Zealand where she had worked since 2016. As the Director of a small union, she oversaw all areas of the union’s operations. Ansell-Bridges has been a member of the Film Industry Working Group where she has successfully advocated to secure the right for contractors in the screen industry to be able to collectively bargain for minimum terms and conditions. She holds a BA/LLB(Hons) with majors in Politics and Sociology.

Ansell-Bridges believes deeply in the power of working people to come together to create social change, “Working people and their unions have the ability to make New Zealand a better place at work and also more broadly within society as well. The power of collective action; what can be achieved when we work together, is a deep motivator for me.”

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Syd Keepa

Vice-President Maori

Syd Keepa was elected Vice President Maori in October 2010. He has tribal affiliations with Ngati Awa, Ngati Maru, and Ngai Tuhoe and a long history of active involvement in the union movement.

Syd has worked in forestry, and the pulp and paper sector and also as a truck driver. He has been a member of the Timber Workers Union, Northern Drivers Union, Pulp and Paper Workers Union and the Wood Industries Union. He was a delegate with the Northern Drivers Union (1979) and the Pulp & Paper Workers Union (1982) and went on to become Branch President of the Pulp & Paper Workers Union. When the Timber Workers Union and the Pulp & Paper Workers Union amalgamated it became the Wood Industries Union. Syd was Auckland Branch President for the Wood Industries Union, then National President of the Wood Industries Union.

He commenced working with the National Distribution Union in 1999 as Apiha Maori and Wood Sector Organiser in Auckland.

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Rachel Mackintosh


Rachel was elected Vice-President of the CTU in October 2015.

She is National Director of Organising at E tū, the largest private sector union in the country.

Rachel’s involvement in the union movement began when she was working as a copy-editor in the publishing industry and became site delegate for the EPMU. She started as an EPMU official in 2003. As an organiser, she worked across media and manufacturing industries. She co-ordinated the EPMU’s plastics industry strategy for several years, before becoming a director of organising, a post she held for four years before taking up her current role, when E tū was formed in October 2015.

In 2015, Rachel completed the Harvard Trade Union Program in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She has served as a trustee for Kotare Trust and as a member of the executive of PaMPITO, the plastics industry training organisation, now part of Competenz.

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Andrea Black

Policy Director & Economist

Andrea was a Senior Associate at the Institute of Governance and Policy Studies at Victoria University before starting at the CTU in January 2020. She was formerly the Independent Advisor to the Tax Working Group and before that held senior positions at Inland Revenue and the Treasury. Andrea holds degrees in accounting, economics and tax. She is a Chartered Accountant fellow and an associate member of the Institute of Directors.

Andrea is also trustee of JustSpeak and Yoga Education in Prisons Trust.

Andrea is filling the position of Policy Director and Economist left vacant by Bill Rosenberg who retired at the end of 2019.

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