Government body WorkSafe NZ is turning to a new ad agency as it looks to spread its message across a diversifying Kiwi population.

To do this, the body has appointed Auckland-based ad agency FCB, which has a long history of working closely with government organisations.

Popular campaigns developed by FCB in recent years include the "Yeah, Nah" moderate drinking initiative for the Health Promotion Agency, the quirky "Swim Reaper" campaign for Water Safety NZ and the Starsky and Hutch-themed "get it on or it's no good" life jacket safety campaign for Maritime New Zealand.

"We're privileged to be selected to help WorkSafe continue to change people's behaviour when it comes to being healthy and safe at work and at home and helping reduce harm in New Zealand," said FCB managing director Sean Keaney.


The new arrangement will see FCB take over the strategy, brand and advertising campaign work for WorkSafe.

"We're embarking on a fresh programme of work and we were looking for a long-term partner with the strategic and creative skills to help us extend our impact across a more culturally diverse audience," said WorkSafe marketing and communications manager Nicky Chilton.

This sees the agency follow on from Assignment Group, which last year worked with WorkSafe on the "Use your mouth" and "Be a safe guy" campaigns, which focused on getting workers to speak up about dangers at a site.

The "Be a safe guy" was particularly focused on male Māori workers, who face some of the greatest risks in the workplace.

According to data released last year, the rate of serious injury for Māori workers is 33 per cent higher than for the total population.

With the population of New Zealand, particularly in Auckland, steadily changing, WorkSafe faces a challenge in spreading a safety message that resonates across the board.

Safety standards differ from country to country, which means that new workers may not be familiar with some of rules applicable in New Zealand. But this also goes the other way, in that there is also an opportunity for new workers to point out local problems that may be overlooked at the moment.

The challenge then is two-fold in terms of getting all workers to buy into the policies, but then also having the courage to speak out and make New Zealand workplaces safer.