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Youth important to volunteering: Mahuta

Hon Nanaia Mahuta
Associate Minister of Tourism


5 December 2007 Media Statement

Youth important to volunteering: Mahuta

Kiwi youth have an important role to play in volunteering, says Youth Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta as the country honours its volunteers today – International Volunteers Day.

“The youth of today are tomorrow’s volunteers, and we have seen more and more in recent years the importance placed on volunteering by today’s young generation,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

“As young people who are involved with the Duke of Edinburgh Award will appreciate, volunteering is a critical part of The Award. It’s through young people’s participation and involvement with volunteers who support programmes like The Award, that will hopefully then encourage them to go on to become future volunteers.”

Volunteering New Zealand has 13 regional Volunteer centres, with more than 1 million volunteers in Aotearoa/New Zealand making it a crucial part of today’s society.

“The key theme this year is celebrating and honouring the contribution made by volunteers. Without volunteers, it would be a lot harder for many youth-focused events to happen, like Saturday sports, cultural events as well as youth programmes like the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

“Volunteerism in Aotearoa/New Zealand is very important. At the heart of what we value as families and communities is volunteering throughout the world,” says Nanaia Mahuta.
“Recent statistics suggest volunteers contributed $270 million hours of unpaid work per year. That is the equivalent of nearly 134,000 full-time positions, no mean feat. That is how crucial volunteering is, and I know that today’s young people can play a crucial role in the future when it comes to volunteering.
“I would encourage young people to support International Volunteers Day. It’s a day to applaud the work of so many unsung heroes, and to hopefully plant a seed in young people, to take up volunteering in the future.”


ENDS

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