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Business Volunteer Work Schemes Applauded

Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Steve Maharey is applauding increasing moves to build active partnerships between business and the community.

His comments come following the announcement by ANZ Banking Group NZ Ltd that it is introducing a new volunteer leave policy to enable its employees paid time off work to volunteer in charity and community organisations. Coffee retailer Starbucks announced a similar scheme earlier in the month.

Mr Maharey said both programmes are examples of a welcome trend of businesses supporting the development of their immediate communities.

"New Zealand's community and voluntary agencies make a massive contribution in our society. Despite this, however, many have limited resources. Business or corporate volunteers can offer financial, administrative and other skills through utlising the expertise they have gained in their workplace.

"Between them, the programmes announced by ANZ and Starbucks will see their staff donating over 32,000 hours of voluntary community service each year.

"It is very exciting that these firms have decided to make such a substantial contribution in the International Year of the Volunteer and I encourage other New Zealand businesses to follow their example," Steve Maharey said.

Ends

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