WorkSafe New Zealand, Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) and Dairy Women’s Network are teaming up to help turn around the high numbers of injuries and fatal incidents occurring on New Zealand Farms.

In a WorkSafe led activity, the three agencies are calling on women in farming in the Waikato and Northland regions to come together to design health and safety initiatives that are fit for the farm – and will help keep people safe.

The workshops will be held through October and November with the initiatives set to be piloted in 2020.

“Almost 9 in every ten deaths in New Zealand workplaces are men. We need to try something different to get our farms and farmers on board with safer practice.” said WorkSafe’s Director of Engagement and Implementation Paula Knaap.

“It is clear that women on farm are drivers for systemic and sustained change. They are great farmers in their own right. We want to hear from them how we could support them to better address the issues that are causing farmers, and their family members, to be seriously or fatally injured while at work,” said Ms Knaap.

“Each of the groups will have the opportunity to take forward ideas they want to trial on their farms or their wider farming community. These might be a digital solution, a change in practice– or perhaps something quite unexpected to best address a common problem or issue.”

RWNZ and Dairy Women’s Network backed WorkSafe in its endeavour to reduce harm on New Zealand farms and are putting the call out to their own networks to recruit workshop participants.

“Farming is a people business, and agriculture is over represented in workplace injury and sadly deaths,” Dairy Women’s Network CEO Jules Benton said. “When accidents happen it not only impacts the person but also families, so we want everyone to get home safe at night to their family’s and loved ones.”

Benton stressed it was often just taking a moment to stop and think “is there a better or safer way to work, as there is nothing more important than being safe in your work environment.”

RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower said “RWNZ is supportive of many initiatives to improve on-farm safety due to the adverse effects of serious injury and deaths to farming families and communities, and look forward to seeing better outcomes for rural communities from this initiative.”

Interested participants are invited to join one of three groups with three workshops each. Ideally participants will be available to attend all three workshops.

  • Group 1: Whangarei on 1st, 10th and 24th October
  • Group 2: Hamilton on 8th, 15th of October and 5th of November
  • Group 3: Hamilton on 17th October and 7th and 14th November

WorkSafe invites anyone interested in participating in the workshops to contact Sarah Loveridge for more information at sarah.loveridge@worksafe.govt.nz.

Media contact details

For more information you can contact our Media Team using our media request form. Alternatively, you can:

Phone: 021 823 007 or

Email: media@worksafe.govt.nz