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Centre opposes return to work for the dole

Wednesday January 26 2004.

Volunteer Centre opposes return to work for the dole

Many voluntary groups will be very wary of a return to compulsory volunteering, according to the Dunedin Community Volunteer Centre.

"Work for the dole - or compulsory volunteering - was tried in the 1990s and it failed. It results in unhappy "volunteers" and unhappy voluntary organisations," said Sam Huggard, Manager of the Dunedin Community Volunteer Centre.

"We remained concerned that work for the dole will undermine genuine volunteer work and create barriers for volunteering," said Sam Huggard. "Volunteering is offering one's time and energy with free will. People who are compelled to work are not volunteers - and this leads to mistrust and confusion about what volunteering is."

"In the 1990s many voluntary organisations would have nothing to do with the then National government's government's work for the dole scheme. We expect a similar level of opposition if it is ever reintroduced," said Sam Huggard.

Reference from the Volunteer Centre's policy manual:

The Dunedin Community Volunteer Centre does not support compulsory volunteering in any form. We believe that working for the benefit or having to volunteer to maintain one's benefit status erodes the philosophy of volunteering.

ENDS

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