Volunteering is seen as part of kiwi culture. Volunteering is work people do in their own time for free. It’s a positive way to contribute to society by giving time and skills to help other people, most commonly for non-profit community groups that provide much-needed services to New Zealanders.
If you hold a student, visitor or work visa, you may be able to volunteer. However, you must not receive any payment or reward that can be valued in terms of money, like accommodation or food, for the work you do as a volunteer.
There are so many opportunities to be a volunteer in New Zealand. From counselling and support services to animal welfare and helping out with conservation organisations. First, you need to identify what you enjoy doing, and what new skills you would like to learn or develop. Check out our selection here
Apart from the amazing rewarding feeling you will receive when you volunteer knowing you are helping local communities in New Zealand, there are so many more reasons why you should volunteer:
Learn local culture
Volunteering is a great way to get out and meet local people doing something they love. This way, you can immerse yourself in the local culture, understand Kiwis more, get the inside knowledge you just can’t read about, and even use it as a great talking reference in your next job interview!
Gain future skills
Future skills are what employers identify as skills needed for future jobs and volunteering is an easy and fun way to gain these skills. These include, but are not limited to, caring for others, problem-solving, creativity, cultural understanding, social responsibility and teamwork. Learn more here [link to blog]
Meet like-minded people
Volunteering will help you to meet people from all walks of life. This is a great way to make new friends and it will help you practice your English, not to mention all the fun you will have!
Top tip: If you are volunteering in a field that you would like to work in, this allows you to meet like-minded people and you can use this as a networking tool to help advance your career.
Although not all volunteering activities will lead you to employment, it can help. A lot of volunteering agencies would be happy to be used as a reference and you will be gaining the necessary skills (and future skills!) necessary for your career. Watch this video from Immigration New Zealand how volunteering can help you into a career path.