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Adverse Event Navigators

At FirstMate, we deeply value our fishing and marine farming communities. We understand that unexpected events, like adverse weather conditions, can have a significant and lasting impact on mental health and wellbeing.  

That's why we're here to offer a helping hand.  

We've now got a team of dedicated FirstMate Adverse Event Navigators in the regions hit hard by weather events in early 2023, providing on-the-ground support for fishers and marine farmers from July 2023 to December 2023. 

Meet our Adverse Event Navigators 

Our FirstMate Adverse Event Navigators are people who have firsthand experience in the seafood sector and understand the challenges that arise from adverse weather events. They’ve had training and guidance from the FirstMate network, a supportive community consisting of 16 other Navigators and an organisation dedicated to promoting mental health and wellbeing within the seafood industry. 


Northland (based in Whangarei) 

I'm excited to be a part of FirstMate's team and to support the seafood sector.  

My journey began when I was just 16 when I joined the longliner San Kaipara. From there, I joined the Sanford fleet, and gave trawling and Danish seining a go too. I ended up skippering the San Kaipara and even took a detour across the Tasman to complete the NSILP in Australia.  

It's been an incredible journey and I throw myself into every task 100%. I've been lucky enough to pick up a few awards along the way, including the Seabird Smart Award and the Young Seafood Star Award. Currently, I'm part of the NZ Fish Fed's executive team, and I'm in charge of the board at our local youth theatre.  

Fishing is in my blood, but I've also tried a few other things, like owning a restaurant and a café, and running an American BBQ catering company. I'm a big family man and my idea of the perfect day is spending quality time with my two young Disney princesses, Ariel and Moana. 

Above all, I’m here to connect with fishers and marine farmers impacted by adverse weather, like the recent cyclone and flooding, and to offer the support you need to overcome the effects of unexpected challenges. I understand deeply the highs and lows of our amazing sector and look forward to connecting with you. 


Gisborne/Hawkes Bay (based in Napier) 

I'm a Napier local through and through. After spending a good chunk of my life living and working in Auckland, my husband and I decided to make the move back to our roots in Hawke’s Bay in 2019. Now, we call Hastings home, and that's where my business, Fish Admin Services Limited, came to life. I offer all sorts of administrative and quota management services to some awesome fishers.

My journey in the seafood and fishing world spans over 25 years, and most of that time I've spent working in admin roles, predominantly with Sanford. 

I've dabbled in marine engineering and even had some hands-on experience with tugs and barges. My skills cover everything from fishing vessel and quota management to fisheries and maritime compliance. 

If you're having a tough time with electronic reporting systems, I've got your back. I know my way around them and can lend a hand to fishers who are experiencing issues with the three main systems everyone's using.

Fun fact – I speak Spanish! I spent a year in Northern Spain while my husband was busy supervising the construction of two fishing vessels. Those very vessels are now out here fishing in New Zealand's inshore waters.

I’m very passionate about the seafood and fishing world, and I’m very aware of the challenges people in the industry face, particularly when unforeseen situations, like a cyclone or flooding, occur. I’m passionate about being an Adverse Event Navigator with FirstMate. It's a chance for me to roll up my sleeves and get closer to the amazing fishers and marine farmers out there.


Gisborne/Hawkes Bay (based in Napier) 

I'm the type of person who gets along with everyone – I've got a good sense of humour, a knack for making friends, and a bunch of different skills up my sleeve. Being fair and honest is very important to me, and that's how I gain the respect of folks around me. When it comes to talking, I'm clear and to the point. 

My dad was a commercial fisherman in Kaikoura, so I've been around the sea from a young age. I've done all sorts of jobs on land too, from welding to playing rugby league. Eventually, my love for fishing took me back to the water, and I worked all over the South Island, then moving on to bigger vessels in Nelson. 

For eight years, I was the Skipper for Skeggs Seafoods, going on fishing adventures across New Zealand and even helping out with Australia's deep-sea fishery. This is where I learnt all about mid-water and deep-sea fishing and gear technology – I’ve done just about everything you can think of. I've got the certificates to back it up, like SFV-U (skipper of a fishing vessel unlimited) and a bunch of STCW 95-approved qualifications. I've even been the guy in charge of crews and cargo in the Solomon Islands – quite the adventure! 

Life hasn't always been smooth sailing, but I've managed to carve a name for myself in the New Zealand and Australia offshore industry. I've been all over the place, and I’ve learned a lot through the years, from running trawlers and doing surface longlining in the Pacific to ensuring compliance with safety standards and managing fishing companies.  

I recently lost my wonderful wife so understand firsthand the grief cycle we all go through. It’s not easy, but having people who understand grief and that you can talk to, makes all the difference. That’s why I’m so passionate about being a FirstMate Navigator.  

Even in retirement, I'm still in touch with the fishing world through the FirstMate Navigator programme and as an Adverse Event Navigator. I'm here to lend an ear and offer advice to fellow fishers who might need a little support, especially when adverse weather events impact on our livelihood and mental health. My journey in the seafood industry has been quite the ride, and I'm always up for sharing my expertise with anyone who needs it.

The primary role of the Adverse Event Navigators is to connect with you, our fishers and marine farmers affected by adverse events, like the recent cyclone and flooding.   

They’ll be your liaison between the community and government agencies, local councils, and other relevant entities.  

By raising awareness about the impacts and key stressors within the seafood industry, they’ll ensure that the needs of those affected are well understood. 

Connecting with you and your communities 

These Navigators are deeply involved in your community. Join them at gatherings and BBQs, being held to connect our fishing and marine farming communities.  

They’ll learn from you, find out what you need and will be developing business continuity resources to enhance community resilience. Keep an eye on for updates and more resources.  

They’ll be working with other organisations in the seafood sector, such as the Inshore Council, and other supporters such as the Rural Support Trust, to help address challenges impacting on you and the sector.  

You can contact us anytime. 

Thank you to MPI

Thanks to the North Island Weather Event Fund, established by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), for supporting our Navigators.  

FirstMate is committed to providing a strong support network for our fishing and marine farming communities, and our Adverse Event Navigators are here to ensure that you have the assistance and resources you need during challenging times. 

Call 0800 ADRIFT for support 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.