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Chris Alderson


“As the CEO of Construction Health and Safety NZ (CHASNZ), the mental health of our 250,000 workers is a top priority. We currently don’t have enough information about why people in the sector suffer from poor mental health, however we do know that the MATES in Construction programme will provide workers with much needed help in the short and long term.

The focus on general awareness of mental health and suicide, the peer to peer network and the fast-tracking of help for those who need it, all work regardless of the cause of mental health issues.

Using an established, quality programme and adjusting for unique New Zealand cultural aspects is the basis for my personal and organisational support for MATES in Construction New Zealand.”

Dan Ashby


Dan is the General Manager of Icon’s
New Zealand business, which was established in June 2017 and is currently building the 57 story Pacifica residential tower and Wakefield Street student accommodation projects. 

Throughout his career Dan has been passionate about building and the people who are the foundation of our industry.  Construction is an exciting, but very demanding industry and Dan sees MATES as a key initiative in enhancing the wellbeing of our people “on the ground”.  He welcomes the opportunity to join the Board and is very much looking forward to the positive impact that MATES will have across the industry.

Chris Lockwood

Australian National CEO MATES in Construction

“Having seen firsthand the real impact of MATES which has delivered face to face programmes to over 180,000 workers in Australia, I am passionate about delivering a meaningful reduction in the impact of suicide in NZ communities, as MATES improves the mental health of all of us at work through trusted workplace programmes, individual case management and helpline services.”

Bill Newson

Etu National Secretary | CTU representative | CHASNZ Board of Directors

“It is a privilege to join other dedicated members of MATES in Construction to work for the well-being of working people in the Construction Industry.  I have personally experienced the lifelong pain and disfigurement of an accident at work, and I have direct family experience of a construction worker suffering depression-related health issues.  We know we have a comparatively high level of mental-health related harm among our construction workforce, I look forward to making a difference”.

Maurice Davis

National secretary - The Amalgamated Workers Union New Zealand

“Mates in Construction New Zealand is very relevant in the working environment we find ourselves in.  With all the pressures faced by construction workers both on the job and home to meet deadlines and make ends meet.  Having MATES in Construction there to support people when they are struggling is very important to the New Zealand Construction Industry.”

Gavin Riddle

CEO Natural Habitats

Leading the Auckland regional team at Fulton Hogan Auckland (around 1,000 employees), Gavin has over 30 years’ experience in Civil Engineering Contracting and Business Management

Gavin has previously held Governance roles with Omega Civils, Omega Building, Omega Asphalt, Omega Plant Hire and Mastercrete in South Africa. He was appointed to the Rodney Aggregates Supplies Board in 2016. He is a member of the NZ Institute of Directors. He previously served as a Contract Board Member on the West Waikato North Network Outcomes Contract in the Waikato for the New Zealand Transport Agency. He has previously served as the Branch Chair of the Civil Contractors New Zealand (CCNZ) Bay of Plenty Branch and is now a member of the CCNZ Auckland Branch Committee.

Dr. Chris Bowden

Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington

Chris received his PhD in Health from Victoria University of Wellington in 2017. His PhD focused on understanding young men’s experience of losing a close male friend to suicide. Chris completed his undergraduate studies in education and psychology at Otago University focusing on child and adolescent development.

Chris has been lecturing in the School of Education at Victoria University of Wellington since 2004. He teaches in the undergraduate BA Education and MEdPsych post-grad programmes. Chris has been working in the area of suicide prevention and postvention for two decades. He provides community and professional education locally and nationally and works closely with suicide prevention and postvention services providing advice and guidance.

He has authored many government reports on suicide prevention; presented conference papers, symposia and hui. He developed New Zealand’s first nation-wide psycho-educational programme for adults bereaved by suicide (Waves) in conjunction with Skylight Trust. Chris co-facilitated this programme for many years using his educational skills to help people learn about grief and how to cope with suicide bereavement. He has now turned his focus to conducting evaluative research on the programme and its impact.

David Thomas

General Manager of Winstone Wallboards

David Thomas has over 35 years’ experience in the building industry, and has led key business units within Fletcher Building for the last 25 years. He is currently the General Manager of Winstone Wallboards Ltd. David was on the founding Board of the South Auckland Crown Health Enterprise and represented Fletcher Challenge Ltd on the Board of Maori Development Corporation.

General disclosure of interests: Chair, Ngāti Whakaue Tribal Lands Incorporated; Chair, Gypsum Board Manufacturers of Australasia; Shareholder / Employee – Fletcher Building Limited; Director, New Zealand Ceiling & Drywall Supplies Limited; Chair, Altus NZ Limited, Director, Winstone Wallboards Ltd.