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International Study Of NZ's Non-Profit Sector

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Beehive Launch For International Study Of New Zealand’s Non-Profit Sector

Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Ruth Dyson launched two publications by Massey University researchers this month.

Dr Mike O’Brien and Dr Jackie Sanders from the social work programme, and Professor Margaret Tennant, Dean of the Graduate Research School, contributed to The New Zealand Non-profit sector in Comparative Perspective and The History of the Non-profit Sector in New Zealand.

Both stem from the New Zealand leg of an international study of non-profit organisations headed by the Johns Hopkins University centre for civil society studies.

The researchers also worked in collaboration with Statistics New Zealand and with a national committee for the study of the non-profit sector.

Professor Tennant says the national report shows the importance of the non-profit sector to the New Zealand economy.

“It is contributing 4.9 per cent of New Zealand’s gross domestic product and has a workforce of paid staff and volunteers, which is proportionately one of the largest in the world – equivalent to one in 10 of the working-age population,” she says.

“While about half of New Zealand’s non-profit organisations are involved in service delivery, the study reveals New Zealand has an internationally high proportion of organisations providing opportunities for citizen participation – especially sporting organisations.”

The History of the Non-profit Sector in New Zealand canvasses the development of the sector over time, showing the early importance of sporting activities, New Zealand’s openness to international organisational forms and the rise and decline of particular kinds of voluntary organisations and volunteering.

Caption: Professor Margaret Tennant, Associate Professor Mike O’Brien and Professor Lester Salamon, Director of the Johns Hopkins Comparative Non-profit Sector Project at the Parliamentary launch.


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