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Volunteers’ work vital part of NZ communities

Hon Steve Chadwick
Minister of Conservation
Minister of Women’s Affairs
Associate Minister of Health

17 June 2008 Media Statement

Volunteers’ work vital part of NZ communities

Whether it’s replanting native shrubs, or supporting a new mum, the work of thousands of volunteers throughout New Zealand is a vital part of our social fabric, Conservation, Women Affairs and Associate Health Minister Steve Chadwick said today.

“This week is Volunteers Week and as Minister of Women’s Affairs I am immensely grateful for the enormous contribution that all volunteers, and particularly women, make in our communities,” said Steve Chadwick.

“We know that up until retirement age women tend to volunteer more than men, and over the years the amount of time they spend volunteering gradually increases.

“In today’s society we are becoming increasingly time-poor, yet everyday thousands of Kiwis see a need and make the effort to do something about it.

“The contribution made by volunteers is immense. Conservation volunteers carry out a huge range of tasks, including counting birds, restoring natural habitats, transferring bird and plant species, maintaining huts and controlling pests.

“Around 8,000 individuals participate in Department of Conservation volunteer programmes each year. Just over a week ago, for World Environment Day, I joined volunteers to restore native plants at the Ahuriri Estuary in Napier and experienced their passion and dedication to conservation work.

“I also want to thank all those who give their time and energy to volunteer with our health services. Thousands of people volunteer with organisations like Plunket, Women’s Refuge and Rape Crisis as well as many other hard-working NGOs and community groups. And then there are all the informal volunteers – those Kiwis who assist their family, friends, neighbours and communities in the way they live every day.

“More than a million New Zealanders see a need and respond in whatever way they can. Their work strengthens families and neighbourhoods and is the very foundation of the phrase 'healthy communities'.”


ENDS

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