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Don’t forget to protect volunteers
02 December 2005

Wellington, New Zealand: 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 to help volunteer-involving organizations manage personnel and operational risks and liabilities, in Wellington, New Zealand.

The guide 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 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 organizations 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 volunteer organizations.

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 organizations 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 will 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.