More than one million New Zealanders are actively involved in volunteer work, making up about 67 per cent of the non-profit workforce.
Volunteering NZ (VNZ) is a national body which works to promote, support and represent volunteering across New Zealand. This includes coordinating Volunteer Awareness Week and International Volunteer Day.
Volunteering gives students work experience and helps new migrants to "get connected" within communities.
"Volunteers contribute millions of unpaid hours to sports and recreation, health, education, arts, animal welfare, cultural and faith communities, human rights, the environment and emergency services," says Tim Burns, VNZ Executive Director.
VNZ has observed generational differences in how people choose to volunteer and find their volunteering opportunities. VolunteerNow, VNZ's volunteering opportunities website, is used much more by younger people than those in the 60s-plus age group.
The economic recession has definitely had an impact on volunteering. In the past year, VNZ has received feedback that an increasing number of new volunteers are unemployed or have had their paid hours reduced.
The Tindall Foundation has funded the VolunteerNow website and VNZ operating costs.
For more information contact:
Tim Burns, Executive Director, Volunteering New Zealand