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Minister acknowledges true impact of volunteering

Office of Hon Winnie Laban

Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector
MP for Mana

5 December 2005 Media Statement

Minister acknowledges true impact of volunteering

Imagine life without ambulance drivers, surf lifesavers, or sports coaches. New Zealand would be a very different place without these volunteers. Community and Voluntary Sector Minister, Hon Winnie Laban pays tribute today to the thousands of kiwi's who give their time to help others, without pay and often without recognition.

"This labour–led government acknowledges the vital contribution volunteers make to social development, the economy, and the environment. The government adopted a policy on volunteering that envisages a society with a high level of volunteering, where the many contributions people make to the common good through volunteering are actively supported and valued." said Winnie Laban.

The United Nations designated 5 December as International Volunteer Day and invited governments around the world to celebrate volunteers and raise awareness of the part they play in society.

"Over 9,000 volunteer firefighters and 2,400 volunteer ambulance personnel provide emergency services to communities. The work that volunteers do has enormous value. Nearly 7,000 refugees and migrants received English language support from volunteer teachers. These exemplify a huge and humbling effort!" says Winnie Laban.

More than one million New Zealanders are involved in some form of voluntary work in their communities: from sports, recreation, arts, culture and heritage to emergency and social services, health, education, conservation and the environment.

Winnie Laban extends her heartfelt thanks to all volunteers. “I want to say a very big thank you to the many volunteers for their work and to the thousands of organisations, individuals and families who support them. This work provides great opportunities to build strong, mutually enriching, sustainable relationships for all New Zealanders.”

International Volunteers Day is an opportunity for us all to recognise the work of the thousands of volunteers who contribute to making the kiwi way of life safer, healthier, and happier.

ENDS

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