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Don’t forget to protect volunteers

News release: embargo: 00:01 Monday 5 December 2005

Don’t forget to protect volunteers

To mark International Volunteer Day (IVD) the Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations is to release a brand new, free guide, Keeping it Legal E Ai Ki Te Ture [1] to help voluntary organisations manage personnel and operational risks and liabilities. This has been developed jointly with the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector.

Volunteers form the bedrock of many social services and donate a huge number of unpaid hours to good causes. A study [2] that looked at 10 national agencies across New Zealand Aotearoa estimated that for these 10 agencies alone, volunteers contributed a staggering 7,638,238 hours in one year. The overall figure is much, much higher.

Volunteers, and the organisations they contribute to, are subject to an ever increasing raft of regulations and compliance issues, especially as the new Charities Commission starts operating in 2006. Often, bureaucratic jargon accompanying the wide range of legal requirements makes compliance even more difficult for voluntary organisations.

Keeping it Legal E Ai Ki Te Ture provides clear outlines of the legal obligations in an easy-to-use format, with background information, checklists and accompanying factsheets so voluntary organisations can ensure they are within the law.

Tina Reid, Executive Director of NZFVWO said:

“International Volunteering Day is about recognising and respecting our volunteers. We are delighted to launch this comprehensive resource today which not only highlights voluntary organisations’ legal requirements, but also their responsibilities to the volunteer workforce.”

Keeping it Legal E Ai Ki Te Ture is going to be launched by the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Winnie Laban at a special IVD luncheon held at Wellington Community Law Centre on International Volunteer Day.

ENDS


Notes:
[1] Keeping It Legal E Ai Ki Te Ture is free and also available online at: www.nzfvwo.org.nz/keepingitlegal
[2] Counting for something, Value Added by Voluntary Agencies (Sep, 2004)
http://www.nzfvwo.org.nz/files/projects.htm#section2

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