Stay On Course

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Call 0800 ADRIFT (0800 237 438)
today if you need support or advice

Stay On Course

FirstMate New Zealand is here to support the health and wellbeing of hardworking people across the commercial seafood sector. Our goal is to offer people and businesses the support they need to better navigate the pressures and complexities that come with the job and rise to any potential challenges.

Working at sea may be a calling but we all know making a livelihood this way isn’t always easy. It’s a tough working environment – mentally, physically, legally and financially. And as things continue to change, it’s vital that those in the industry – and their whānau – have the support they need to adjust and thrive.

Call 0800 ADRIFT (0800 237 438)
today if you need support or advice

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About Us

FirstMate is a charity set up for our commercial seafood whānau, with seafood whānau, to provide you with one-on-one support when you need it the most. FirstMate is run by people who understand what it means to be part of New Zealand’s dynamic and challenging seafood industry. 

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Our Navigators

Our Navigators are here to help. They have deep knowledge of the seafood sector and they know what you might be going through because many of them have been through it too. Now, they want to give something back to the sector. There is no agenda and no judgment, just a willingness to put you first.
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Our recent experience using the FirstMate service has been excellent. It is nice to deal with a personable team that have great knowledge & understanding of the industry. Big ups to Darren & his team doing the hard work to support the industry's backbone.”

- Rob & Ashley Ansley, Ocean Pearl Fisheries

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There are many different organisations and experts within the sector who can help with specific problems, but in times of stress or uncertainty it can be hard to know where to turn. First Mate wants to connect fishers with the right people - people who can talk their language and walk alongside them - to steer them in the right direction and out of troubled waters.”

- Kate Hesson, FirstMate Trustee

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My passion is in ‘the people’. Those out there doing the job night and day and in all weathers and under constant pressures. It is essential that we are here to provide continued support to those hardworking NZers and their whānau.”

- Doug Saunders-Loder, FirstMate Trustee

Firstmate in action

Whānau Matters

Whānau Matters

Gabrielle and Simon (Si) live with their four daughters in a remote bay in the Marlborough Sounds. Si works long days as a mussel Farmer and Gabrielle home-schools the kids. The aquaculture industry has been a large part of their life - but as you would expect, it’s not always smooth sailing.

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Diving into the Fishing Industry

Diving into the Fishing Industry

After getting bored of building, Marlborough-based Tim Barnett began working as a contract diver and spends big, long – but rewarding – days working in an industry he loves. Now, he’s the boss, and the juggle to keep everyone happy means a whole lot more stress, so he’s had to find ways to cope.

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Meet the Fishers: Port Chalmers Crew Show How It’s Done

Meet the Fishers: Port Chalmers Crew Show How It’s Done

The first community event supported by FirstMate was held at Careys Bay wharf in November 2021. Organised by the Port Chalmers Fishermen’s Co-operative Society and proud local commercial inshore fishers who gave up time at sea to help with this important event, including FirstMate Navigator Glenn Robinson.

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News and events

To stay up to date with the latest events in your region follow us on our facebook page

Job alert! FirstMate needs a part-time coordinator. Is it you?

We are looking for someone who is passionate about helping others, with experience of the seafood sector to take up the role of part-time coordinator.

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Upcoming event

Info coming soon.

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Upcoming event

Info coming soon.

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