The Government must mark today’s International Volunteer Day with a strong commitment to supporting this vital sector, National’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson Alfred Ngaro says.
“Over a billion people around the world give up their time and skills to volunteer every year – and that includes 1.2 million New Zealanders.
“There are over 114,000 Not for Profit Organisations in New Zealand and volunteers contribute about $3.5 billion in labour every year. That includes two organisations that we rely on to help us during times of great need - it’s easy to forget that 80 per cent of our fire service and 70 per cent of St John’s ambulance staff are all volunteers.
“National recognises the sector is the backbone of the country and in this year’s Budget our Government allocated record funding in recognition of that contribution.
“Kiwis are extraordinarily generous and that spirit of generosity should be supported by Government.
“My challenge to the new Government is to further streamline the sector and remove the barriers around accessing the funding that many of these organisations need. I’d like to see the new regime encourage and foster greater efficiencies so that every single dollar raised or hour worked is maximised to its greatest potential,” Mr Ngaro says.
To mark the day Mr Ngaro is encouraging Kiwis to get out and offer their time to the organisation of their choice.