Presidential elections


At PSA Congress in Wellington on September 20-21, conference attendees will elect a new PSA president for a two-year term. Four nominations have been received for the role, and you can get to know each of the candidates a little below. They are listed in alphabetical order by surname.

Andy Colwell

Ngā mihi ki a koutou.

Traditional structures and roles of public services are under attack through underfunding and privatisation. We need to respond for the benefit of our members and for all people who access public services. We need to organise and campaign in different ways to grow our union’s influence.

I am proposing the union undertakes a ‘warrant of fitness’ to make sure we are ready to face these challenges. Let’s maximise our resources; let’s re-focus them to make the most of opportunities as they arise. We will then be in a stronger position to get members involved, increase our bargaining strength, and be better able to campaign on key issues. Our union will also be better able to deliver on our strategic goals of transforming our workplaces, building our union, advocating for strong, innovative and effective public and community services and equal pay.

Nāku noa.

Benedict Ferguson

Tēnā koutou.

I am a committed trade unionist and firmly believe in the union movement and workers’ rights. I currently work fulltime as a union delegate within Auckland Council.

My aspirations for putting myself forward for President are:

  • For the PSA to be seen as a progressive union that is relevant to all workers;
  • For our membership to continue to grow and for us to try new approaches to recruitment;
  • To inspire members to become active and feel a part of the union movement;
  • For our hard working delegates to be truly recognised as work place leaders and be empowered to stand up for workers’ rights.

I want to inspire our 62,000 members to give up 30 minutes of their time each week to talk about the PSA. Imagine what sort of impact this could have on all of our working lives.

Ngā mihi nui. 

Janet Quigley

Ngā mihi kia koutou katoa.

I am a health promoter with Canterbury DHB, married to Robin and live in Timaru.

I’ve been an active member of the PSA for over 30 years, including 20 years on the DHB Sector Committee, 10 years as convenor and Executive Board member with 3 years as Vice President. I’ve also held leadership roles with the international union federation PSI. 

Currently, I am convenor of the Women’s Network where I have supported rebuilding the network, leading initiatives around improving women’s representation in the PSA and campaigns to improve outcomes for our members and their whanau, including equal pay.

These experiences have given me extensive knowledge of the PSA, how to gain influence and drive issues important to members.

I have the energy, passion and commitment to be president and work alongside members to address issues and ensure, as a union, we continue to grow.

Peter Robertshaw

Born in Yorkshire, England, I moved to New Zealand in 2005.

In the UK I served in the Metropolitan Police and practised as a solicitor, specialising in criminal defence and employment law.

Since January 2006, I have worked for the Ministry of Justice. Soon after starting, I became a delegate to continue my advocacy on behalf of others.

I have a passion for people’s rights and have been fortunate to represent my fellow union members as a local, national, sector delegate and executive board member. Currently, I am convenor of the Public Service Sector Committee and the PSA vice president. I believe I have a sound knowledge of the union and its operations.

I am a passionate advocate on behalf of members and believe I have the right qualities to lead this great organisation through the testing times ahead, which is why I now stand for the role of President.