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From protecting the Prime Minister to rock bottom: rebuilding a life after a career of trauma


Chris Chandler-Yates is an American-Kiwi, who arrived into New Zealand in 2004. He joined the NZ Police in 2011 and after a seven-year career, during which time he protected The Rt Hon Sir John Key (New Zealand's Prime Minister at the time), he experienced severe burnout that caused him to leave the job he once loved.

After a journey of self-care, recovery, and personal development, he's now hyper passionate about helping everyone (& particularly first responders) to take charge of their mental health and significantly reduce the chance of burnout. He lives to ensure others learn to see themselves so they don't go through the pain he once experienced.


Entrepreneur After seven years as a NZ Police officer, Chris' career ended when he suffered from burnout and PTSD. During a period of healing and self-reflection, Chris chose to leave the Police and started a personal training and mindset coaching business. In under twelve months, he had created a six-figure business, helping hundreds of current and future police officers understand and reclaim their mental health.

As an entrepreneur, he has had many challenges to overcome, none of which he would have been able to do without all he endured as a police officer. Every day you have moments where you want to give up, but you have to find your WHY' and passion to ensure success.

Podcast host In 2020, with his passion in the areas of burnout and PTSD recovery and prevention, Chris started a podcast to speak with people from all walks of life, on how they've experienced and overcome burnout. With over 100 episodes, Chris has interviewed business owners, mental health and performance coaches, actors, police officers and everything in between. His hope is that by sharing these stories, the podcast will help civilians and other first responders know they aren't alone and to help spread awareness.

Chris has also learned there are many commonalities, no matter if you're a Chief of Police or an employee working in someone else's business. There are key tools to prevent burnout that can help anyone and everyone.

Sailing At the age of 13 Chris' life changed forever. his parents took him and his younger brother on a 40' foot catamaran where they sailed half way around the world, over five years, before ending up in New Zealand. During this time Chris was able to experience cultures and experiences not many on this planet have been privileged to do, as well as becoming a very proficient sailor and diver at a young age.

By the time he was 17, he had been given opportunities to race on multi-million dollar yachts, crew and skipper yachts to different parts of the world and start his own little business looking after and maintaining yachts in harbours. From this experience Chris learned about resilience, leadership, perseverance and the power of self-belief.

Talking Points

From protecting the Prime Minster to rock bottom

How a career as a police officer has more trauma than most civilians can every imagine. In this talk, Chris will cover the impact of how just one traumatic event can have on your life, how to understand why and how to recover and move forward.

Lessons from a solo, 8000 mile motorcycle journey

An entertaining and informative session, discussing the importance of knowing who you are, being able to spend time alone and what you learn when you spend 12 hours a day riding through the mid-west US just you and a one-man pup tent.

Who are you, if not a first responder?

This topic will cover finding your true identity as a human being, not tying it to your career and what you do. Tips and tricks to be present and fulfilled.

7 simple steps to ensure you never burnout

Chris will walk your audience through a very simple, seven-step process that unlocks the things you may not know about yourself, but how it can affect how you show up, operate and perform. A great discussion to ensure high-performance.

How leaving my wife saved my marriage

In this discussion, Chris will cover how outside forces affect your most intimate relationships and how to ensure you never need to leave, to save what's most important to you.
Great presentation that clearly resonanted well with the audience and prompted some great 'real' conversations afterwards. Architectural Designers New Zealand
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