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Search is on for New Zealand’s nicest

Monday, July 10 2006

Search is on for New Zealand’s nicest. What’s your nice-onality?

New Zealand’s ‘nice people’ are being called to apply for the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation’s unique World of Difference programme, launching today. An interactive ‘nice-onality’ test located at, tells Kiwis just how nice they really are and encourages people at all levels of the ‘niceness’ spectrum to put their passion and talent to good use by applying for the programme.

The annual World of Difference programme gives passionate New Zealanders the chance to make a real difference to their favourite child or youth-related cause by covering the salaries and expenses of up to six people for a year. Foundation Chairman, Neil Porteous says the programme, now in its fifth year, has seen 18 amazing Kiwis make a world of difference in New Zealand and overseas.

“This year we are hoping for an increase in applications from passionate New Zealanders who have a connection with, or interest in, a child or youth-related cause,” he says. Four amazing women are currently making a world of difference to a variety of causes.

Vicki Culling (Wellington) is supporting bereaved parents through SANDS (Stillbirth and Newborn Death Support) and Sue van Schreven (Invercargill), founder of Orphans Aid International, is establishing homes in Russia and Romania to care for abandoned children.

Kylie Bentham from Auckland is taking medical services to developing nations with global charity Mercy Ships and Diane Sharp, also from Auckland, is providing occupational therapy at the New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association. Kate Russell, Chief Executive of the Cystic Fibrosis Association of New Zealand spent a year working closely with World of Difference recipient Tracey Richardson in 2005 and says the benefits the programme provides to charitable organisations are immeasurable.

“World of Difference has had an amazing impact on us. It is strategic in focus - increasing the capacity of the charities it helps, not just sponsoring an event as a one-off. My hat is off to the Vodafone Foundation for this new and innovative thinking.”

Vodafone’s strong volunteering culture encourages its people to share their talents and passion in the community. A shorter version of the programme, affectionately called “mini-World of Difference” has also been established allowing employee recipients to take up to two weeks paid leave to work for a charity. The World of Difference programme is open to all New Zealand residents aged over 18 years.

Entries close Friday, August 18 2006 and must be completed and submitted online at


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