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Stay On Course

FirstMate New Zealand supports the health and wellbeing of people across the commercial seafood sector. Our goal is to offer fishers and businesses the guidance, direction and support they need to better navigate the pressures and complexities that come with the job. Working at sea can be very challenging – mentally, physically, legally and financially. And as things continue to change, it’s vital that people in the industry – and their whānau – have the support they need to adjust and thrive.

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About Us

FirstMate is a charity run by people who understand what it means to be part of New Zealand’s dynamic and challenging seafood industry. Each member of our team brings a unique set of skills and expertise to our organisation, and together we do our best to help the seafood community through the hard times and to provide you with one-on-one support when you need it the most.

Our Navigators

Our Navigators are here to give the guidance, direction and support to navigate what’s ahead. They have deep knowledge of the seafood sector and 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.

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

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

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

Make a donation

Your donation goes directly to helping the seafood community improve their wellbeing. Email to discuss ways you can support our work, from sponsoring an event or initiative to making a one-off or ongoing donation.

Firstmate in action

Click on the images below to watch the video.

News and events

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

Call 0800 ADRIFT any day between 7am and 10pm or email to access the support you need. We also have a growing library of free resources available for you to access on our website.

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