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Volunteers Deserve More Than A Camelia And A Stamp

8 March 2001


United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, has ridiculed Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins' announcement of a special camellia and postage stamp to mark the contribution of volunteers to the New Zealand community.

"It is very much recognition on the cheap."

"Those symbols are fine as far as they go - but they are no more than symbols."

"They will not make it any easier for people to volunteer their time, nor will they of themselves inspire more people to become community volunteers."

"I do not begrudge these symbols, but I do say that if the Minister really cares, there is much more than can be done to recognise the substantial contribution volunteers make to the life of so many New Zealand communities."

"If Mr Hawkins and his Government were serious about recognising the worth and contribution of volunteers, they would be doing something far more substantial."

"For example, they could look to implementing United Future's policy of a special tax rebate to recognise the contribution of voluntary time to community agencies."

"That would be a far more tangible way of acknowledging the valuable contribution of the volunteer, than a flower and a postage stamp," Mr Dunne says.


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