18 June 2012
New Zealand volunteers recognised this week
This week sees the contributions made by volunteers across New Zealand be recognised - events across New Zealand will be running to celebrate Volunteer Awareness Week. First events kick off in Lower Hutt and Johnsonville on Monday 18th June.
Chief Executive of Volunteering New Zealand, Vanisa Dhiru says “Volunteers are the backbone of our society. Volunteers contribute in so many ways, from ‘grass-roots’ volunteering to formal volunteering for an organisation to virtual volunteering online”.
New Zealand is leading a nation for involvement of citizens as volunteers. Data from Neilson Research estimated that 1,241,000 people volunteered in 2008, equivalent to 133,799 full time positions annually.
“We’re sure there are more hours being contributed – just not recorded. Think of all the volunteer hours contributed by marae volunteers, community fairs, resident associations, church groups and online networking – there is a lot of time that is not being recorded”.
Volunteers contribute millions of unpaid hours in many different ways. During Volunteering Awareness Week, events across the country are celebrating volunteers, and training volunteers. Volunteer awards are being held in Hamilton, Nelson, Tauranga, Hawkes Bay and Christchurch, volunteer parades and marches planned in Palmerston North and Gisborne, and a photo shoot of Marlborough volunteers are on the event schedule.
“The work of volunteers is essential to building resilient communities at home, online, and around the world… it’s about putting your communities and energy into action, and getting the impact we need to ensure all the communities of Aotearoa thrive. We want to make sure this week those 1.2 million volunteers in New Zealand get recognised, and we have more people come along and give some of their time” says Vanisa.
Volunteering Awareness Week this week marks New Zealand’s largest celebration of volunteers, volunteerism, and civic participation. The theme this year is Building Communities Through Volunteering, which runs from June 17 to 23.
Organisations that involve volunteers are encouraged to celebrate Volunteer Awareness Week in 2012, and are welcome to download material from www.volunteeringnz.org.nz.