Ken led the New Zealand union movement from 1979 to 1999, first as the Federation of Labour Secretary, then as the inaugural president of the Council of Trade Unions.
Internationally, he was president of the Asia-Pacific Regional Trade Union and a representative on the World Union Movement Executive (ICFTU) and the governing body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
His board memberships have included Deputy Chair of New Zealand Post, Capital and Coast District Health Board, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Air New Zealand and the New Zealand Rugby Union.
Ken has been an elected Porirua City Councillor, and in 1998 he was awarded the Order of New Zealand. He was also awarded a Hon. Doctorate of Laws from Victoria University of Wellington in 1999 and is a Justice of the Peace.