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Community Sector Research Project Launched

18 November 2004

Community Sector Research Project Launched

A major research project to examine the range and impact of non-profit and volunteering activities in New Zealand has been launched.

The research project, entitled ‘The Study of the New Zealand Non-Profit Sector’, is being jointly funded by community trusts, the government and the Tindall Foundation and is being co-ordinated by the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector (OCVS). An advisory committee which has been set up to oversee the project met for the first time yesterday.

Ken Gordon, Chair of the new Advisory Committee for the Study of the New Zealand Non-Profit Sector, says the sector and government need to understand in more detail how the community sector contributes to the economy.

“Community based organisations provide essential services and support to their communities at a local level, and on a national scale make a huge contribution to our economy and to our social wellbeing.”

The project will contribute to the first-ever report to paint a picture of the nature and extent of the non-profit sector activities and volunteering in New Zealand. The findings are expected to be completed by 2007.

The research project has two key components: Statistics New Zealand will produce statistical data on the economic value of the non-profit sector and volunteering New Zealand will contribute data to an international study of the non-profit sector conducted by Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore). This will enable New Zealand data to be compared to data from other countries.

Advisory Committee members are Ken Gordon (Trust Waikato), Tuwhakairiora Williams (contractor), Peter Glensor (Community Sector Taskforce), Donna Matahaere-Atariki (Ngai Tahu), David Robinson (NZ Social and Civil Policy Institute), Robyn Munford (Social Policy and Social Work, Massey University), Garth Nowland-Foreman (Researcher), Bob Stephens (Victoria University School of Government).

OCVS Director Brenda Ratcliff said the membership of the Advisory Committee was determined by a panel of community and government people.

“The Committee represents a cross-section of well-respected people with an interest in the sector. They come from Mâori and community organisations, from academic institutions, from research backgrounds and collectively they bring a wealth of expertise about the sector as well as a good understanding of government. We look forward to working with them over the next three years and are confident they will guide this project wisely and with a great deal of commitment and enthusiasm. We are delighted that this project, which has taken careful thought and planning, is now underway,” said Brenda Ratcliff.

ENDS


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