CTU People

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

Helen Kelly


Helen Kelly has been President of the Council of Trade Unions since 2007.

Helen was born in Wellington with unionism and politics running in her blood. Helen’s family has a long and proud history of involvement in unions and the struggle to improve the lives of working people.

Helen holds an LLB from Victoria University and is also a qualified teacher. It was in the teaching unions that her long professional involvement with the union movement began, holding senior office with both the New Zealand Institute of Education and the Association of University Staff. Helen was the youngest woman ever to be appointed as a general secretary, a position she held at AUS for five years until her election as CTU President.

She is the CTU’s chief spokesperson on a wide range of issues affecting workers in New Zealand.  She is a vigorous advocate for women’s pay and employment equity through legislative and social change. Helen is deeply committed to highlighting the importance of having safe and healthy workplaces. A tangible example of this work is her deep involvement and commitment to highlighting the dangers in the forestry industry.

Helen is responsible for CTU international work through the International Trade Union Congress and is a member of the governing body of the International Labour Organisation.

Sam HuggardSam Huggard


Sam was elected CTU Secretary in October 2014.

Sam has over 15 years experience in trade unions, the community sector and students' associations. He has spent the past 6 years in a campaigns position at FIRST Union and worked at the CTU in communications prior to that.

He has led national organisations before, as Co-President of the New Zealand University Students' Association in 2000 and 2001 and more recently as the National Convenor of Campaign for MMP in 2010 and 2011. He was manager of Volunteering Otago from 2003 to 2005, and lectured part-time on Unitec's Graduate Diploma in Not-For-Profit Management from 2008 until 2013.

Sam was raised in Auckland and his family roots are in Wellington, Otago and Southland. He lives in Wellington with his partner and 3 year old son.

Richard Wagstaff

Vice President 

Richard Wagstaff was elected CTU Vice President in 2007. He is one of two national secretaries of the Public Service Association.

He began working at the union in 1988 as a researcher. He became an organiser three years later, working with PSA members in the health and disability sectors in Auckland. In 1997 he was appointed operations manager, responsible for PSA members throughout the country in the health and community sectors.  He took up his current position as a national secretary of the PSA in 2000.

Syd KeepaSyd Keepa, Vice President Maori

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. 

Bill RosenbergBill Rosenberg, CTU Director of Policy

Economist and Director of Policy

Bill Rosenberg was appointed Economist and Director of Policy at the CTU in May 2009. He holds a B.Com in Economics, a BSc in Mathematics and a PhD in Mathematical Psychology. Bill was previously Deputy Director, University Centre for Teaching and Learning at the University of Canterbury, a Member of the Institute of Directors, a Commissioner on TEC, and was a member of the Regional Land Transport Committee of Environment Canterbury.

Bill Rosenberg is widely published on globalisation, trade and e-learning and has been an active trade unionist for 30 years including the Tramways Union and Association of University Staff where he was National President for several years.