National Volunteer Week 2016

Volunteering is a rewarding way to make a difference in your community. Here is some information from Volunteering New Zealand on National Volunteer Week 2016.


Each year New Zealand celebrates National Volunteer Week to recognise and celebrate the vital contribution of New Zealand’s approximately 1.2 million volunteers to social development, the economy and the environment. This year, National Volunteer Week will be celebrated between Sunday 19 and Saturday 25 June 2016 and focuses on time through the following two sayings:

  • Make time – Whai wha
  • Thanks for making time – Kia ora mo tau whai wha

Through this campaign, Volunteering New Zealand hopes volunteers will be recognised for making time for their communities

Volunteering New Zealand


Local voluntary organisations

Volunteering Canterbury
Supports and promotes the work of volunteers and voluntary organisations. Search volunteering opportunities and register online.
Student Volunteer Army
SVA was set up following the quakes of 2010 and 2011. Its focus is on encouraging young people to volunteer.
Gap Filler
Gap Filler creates activities in the vacant sites of our city and welcomes volunteers.
Places to volunteer
Search the libraries’ CINCH database for information about volunteering and voluntary organisations.

International organisations

Red Cross

The international Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is the world’s largest humanitarian movement. New Zealand Red Cross has a team of over 20,000 volunteers. Volunteer for Red Cross New Zealand.

Volunteer Service Abroad

Volunteer Service Abroad sends Kiwis to aid projects in different parts of the world. They offer long-term, short-term and youth volunteering opportunities in countries within the Pacific, Asia and Africa.

WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms)

Volunteer on organic farms with people who are looking for volunteer help. In return for volunteer help, WWOOF (Willing Workers on Organic Farms) hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles. has a directory of WWOOF networks in different countries.

More information

  • Volunteering and service group websites in our Internet Gateway.
  • Volunteering resources at your library.
  • givUS New Zealand funding information for voluntary organisations from hundreds of schemes.
  • giveME Search for awards, scholarships and grants for school, study, research or professional development.

International Volunteer Day is observed globally on 5 December.

There is a place for you to volunteer

June 21st-27th is National Volunteer Week. I would like to take the opportunity to say “Thank you” to all of you.

Thank you, Civil Defence, I don’t think I could have got through without you. Thank you, food parcel donors and packers, you have put meals on countless tables. Thank you, migrant support people, who have given their time freely to those who are living in a country far from home. Thank you, Student Volunteer Army, for cleaning up time and time again, then going overseas and doing it all again. Thank you, cooks and shelter workers, you have given a roof, a meal and a small amount of dignity to the homeless.

Greening The Rubble, Saturday 14 April  2012.  File reference: CCL-2012-04-16
Greening The Rubble, 14 April 2012. Flickr: CCL-2012-04-16

To Red Cross, Salvation Army  and all the other organisations that roll up their sleeves and get stuck in, you not only helped me and my neighbours, but you helped everyone who has asked for help. To the volunteer fire-fighters and life guards, thank you for rescuing us and keeping us safe.

Whether you have greened the rubble, run the Op-Shop, helped with reading, been on the end of a phone, donated blood or handed out the hymn books at church, thank you one and all, you have made the world a better place.

Have you ever considered becoming a volunteer? Regardless of whether you are young or old, it is a great way to meet new people, share skills and learn something new.

To become a volunteer:

Check out our photos of volunteering on our Flickr photostream

Hurrah for volunteers!

Today is International Volunteer Day, which is an annual event dedicated to celebrating and recognising all types of volunteers around the world.

Volunteering is a wonderful way to experience new challenges, develop new skills and get involved in the community. Our web page provides all sorts of information about volunteering in and around Christchurch.

Volunteering in Canterbury came into the spotlight after the earthquakes when organisations such as the Student Volunteer Army, the Farmy Army and many others were involved in the massive clean-up effort. These contributions really showed how much can be achieved when people come together with a common purpose to benefit the community.

The volunteering spirit has endured post-quakes with initiatives like Greening the Rubble and Gap Filler, amongst others, actively using volunteers in the quest to fill empty sites before permanent redevelopment.

My own experiences of volunteering helped me to discover if the career path I wanted to go down was right for me. I wanted to get into the museum sector and was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to help out at my local museum. I was able to find out about this type of job in a very hands on way and meet people who could tell me more. This experience initially led to a part time job and helped me get onto a Museum Studies course.

So, whether you have a little time or a lot of time have think about volunteering as you never know where it will lead you – and if you know a volunteer say a big thank you to them today.

Volunteers part of festival success

During the festival one of the many chats I had with people was this lovely interview with Patricia Kay from North Shore Libraries. In this three-minute interview, she describes the roles of volunteers, and some of the perks of the job.

Later this week we’ll have audio of interviews with corporate and economics commentator, Rod Oram, and since it’s New Zealand Music month a chat with Don McGlashan.