NZs largest ferry operator becomes first transport and tourism operator to provide free period care

From today, Fullers360 will provide free tampons and pads for all customers and employees across the business making it the first tourism and public transport provider in New Zealand to do so. 

Fullers360 has partnered with Dignity a NZ – a social enterprise aiming to deliver period equity by providing free period products to those who need it – to enable a buy-one, give-one model when purchasing tampons and pads. This means for every item Fullers360 purchases to provide freely to customers and employees, Dignity provides another for people without access. 

Fullers360 CEO, Mike Horne, says the business recognises that people should have access to period care products in the same way they can access any other basic bathroom amenities. With 42 per cent of all marine crew being menstruators at Fullers360, and a broader commitment to providing equal opportunities for women at Fullers360, it’s an important initiative to introduce. 

“Our people and passengers deserve to have access to period care products in any bathroom just like they can access toilet paper and hand soap. We’re incredibly proud to be able to provide free period care and encourage people to take what they need. 

“Our hope is that by providing free products onboard and in our office bathrooms we can help close the period equity gap in New Zealand”, says Horne. 

Fullers360 crew development manager, Natasha Colville, says having period products readily available takes away that element of worry that often comes when you’re caught out at work. 

Natasha Colville

“There are days when you’re on the ferry for your shift without any access to a nearby pharmacy or supermarket; or you may be stationed at a DoC protected island and there’s nowhere at all to get what you need. It’s amazing to see the business acknowledge the need for period product accessibility, this will make a massive difference to anyone who uses these products”. 

Dignity General Manager Anika Speedy says they are thrilled to be part of a transport and tourism first for New Zealand in working together with Fullers360 to make period products more accessible to Kiwis using public transport. 

“Period stigma and a lack of access to period products has a negative impact on the education, work and social opportunities available to people across Aotearoa. We have seen a huge increase in demand for period products as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date we have gifted over 546,780 period products to people without access. We’re excited to welcome Fullers360 into providing period products across both their offices and vessels, truly delivering period equity for all!”. 

In New Zealand there are approximately 1.2 million menstruators and 700,000 of these live in extreme poverty, with little or no access to period products. Dignity and other providers have seen a huge increase in demand for period products as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly 90 per cent of community groups surveyed by Dignity in 2021 reported cost was the main barrier to accessing period products. 

Keep an eye out for the free period product dispensers in Fullers360 onboard bathrooms on your next sailing* across the beautiful Hauraki Gulf. 

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