Touch Canterbury Board


John Watson


Dave Forrester

Board Members​​​​​​​

Mel Carson

Lawrence Tau

Vanessa Forrester

Board related enquiries email:

Role: President

Name: John Watson

About me:

After 30 years in the Stock & Station Business John has spent the balance of his working life in the Sporting industry.  A strong background in rugby administration, including Club and Sub Union Chairmanships, led to him forming a Touch Module at his Rangiora Rugby Club.

From there John was appointed as Provincial Touch Manager for Canterbury in 1997.  In 2001 he accepted a volunteer position as Tour Manager for Touch NZ.  Shortly after this he was seconded to Touch NZ to progress the sport throughout the South Island as well as be responsible for all the NZ Senior Touch Teams.  He managed 2 World Cup Campaigns (Japan and South Africa) as well as 2 Trans Tasman Series, the All Nations Tournament in Christchurch and a development Tour to Queensland.

After completing his contract with Touch NZ he went back to Touch Canterbury for a brief period to help facilitate the repayment of a substantial debt that had been incurred.

John served 9 years as Touch NZ President and is currently the Deputy Chair of the TNZ Board

Married to Carole for 58 years they have 2 married children and 5 grandchildren.​​​​​​​

Why are you passionate about touch rugby?:

I love the fact that Touch is a game for all, includes both genders and all cultures and can be experienced at any level our participants have the ability and the desire to aspire to.​​​​​​​

Name: Dave Forrester

Role: Chairman

​​​​​​​About me:

Mostly known as ‘Forrie’.

continuing to work on a casual basis at the DOC Native Plant Nursery at Motukarara.

Initially involved in Touch through running the Hornby RFC Module, then with Prebbleton since 1995.  Life Member of Touch Canterbury, received Service Award in 2018 from Touch NZ.

Married to Vanessa, a black badge referee, and son Logan is also a black badge referee and member of the elite referee group.

Lifetime involvement in rugby union as a player, administrator, coach and team manager at club, Ellesmere and Canterbury Country level.  Two brief seasons as a referee but not much fun in that!!!!!

Equally long involvement in cricket as a player, and a coach up to Youth grade.  Hopefully just a supporter now.

Keen musician (guitar), fisherman and aviculturist during rare times away from sport.

Why are you passionate about touch rugby?:​​​​​​​

Passionate about being able to be involved for so long in a sport with my family.  Touch is probably the only sport that enables that to happen.

Also very passionate about the fortunes of all Canterbury Modules, representative teams and referees.

Name: Mel Carson

Position: Elected Board Representative

About me: 

Mel is a Secondary Health and Physical Education teacher. She values the opportunities that sport can play in the development of youth beyond the physical skills, focusing on the interpersonal skills, personal growth, resilience, sense of belonging and commitment required to improve.

Mel volunteers on the High Performance Panel at Touch Canterbury to support the Representative programme.

Why are you passionate about touch rugby?:

Had the opportunity as a Youth, Opens and Masters player to represent Canterbury, New Zealand and England at National Competitions, World Cups and European Championships. These positive experiences as a player and a coach have led to volunteer work with Touch Canterbury to support the representative programme and continue to develop opportunities for players to experience enjoyment in Touch.

Name: Lawrence Tau

Position: Appointed Board Representative

About me: 

He uri tēnei nō Ngāti Tahu/ Ngāti Whaoa ara ko Ngāi Tūhoe

Born and rasied in Ōtautahi, Christchurch Lawrence has always been passionate about how sport can be vehicle to support wellbeing. He is currently working in the Healthy Families team at Sport Canterbury leading a project to increase access to sport, play and active rec opportunities for young people in care. In his spare time, you’ll find Lawrence on adventures with his young whānau.

Why are you passsionate about touch rugby?:

I have played social touch for most of my adult life and love the fast paced competitive nature mixed with the opportunity to see friends and the ability to show up and play as my time can be stretched with mahi and whānau

John Watson

Dave Forrester

​​​​​​​Mel Carson 

​​​​​​​Lawrence Tau