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Recognising the Contribution of Volunteers

General News | 05/28/2010

Volunteer Awareness Week will be celebrated from 20th to 26th June.

A key objective of the week is to encourage more people to volunteer in their communities. But, says Mark Ford, it is also an opportunity to recognise and acknowledge the work that existing volunteers do.

Mr Ford heads the Auckland Transition Agency (ATA), which is planning and managing the amalgamation of eight councils into a new Auckland Council from 1 November 2010.

He says a huge amount of co-operation between Councils and not-for-profit groups across the region has become obvious during the transition process.

"We (The ATA) have been working with hundreds of community groups to ensure the valuable work they do is continued and that they have security around funding and leases or service delivery contracts."

"These groups are the glue that holds neighbourhoods, communities, districts and cities together," Mr Ford says. "It is an absolute priority that they and the individuals who work so hard for them continue to be a part of the new Auckland after November 1."

"Without tremendous volunteer support many of these community groups would simply have to close their doors."

Research shows that one in three New Zealanders aged 10 or over are volunteers. An economic value of the time they give to the community is conservatively estimated $3.31 billion per year, or 2.3% of GDP.

"This demonstrates in one way the incredible economic value of volunteering in New Zealand," says Mr Ford. "But the contribution that volunteers freely put into our communities- our children, the aged and so on- can’t be measured in dollar terms alone. In many ways it is immeasurable."

"My congratulations and thanks go to each and every one of them all."

Volunteering Auckland is the lead agency for co-ordinating volunteer activity within the Auckland region: www.volunteeringauckland.org.nz 

Volunteering NZ is the national co-ordinating agency for Volunteer Awareness Week. For more information go to: http://www.volunteeringnz.org.nz/