The Community Sector Engagement Group met with the Hon Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, via Zoom on 17 February 2022.

Volunteering New Zealand is a representative on this sector engagement group, which meets regularly with our Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.

Late last year, Hui E! Community Aotearoa and Volunteering New Zealand  undertook a survey of the community and voluntary sector one year on from  the first COVID-19 lockdown. The COVID-19 Hauora Wellbeing Survey findings are now available

The Group discussed the survey findings with a focus on the pandemic’s  ongoing impacts on volunteering and volunteer wellbeing. The survey  highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have impacts on  volunteering in the sector such as volunteer wellbeing and fatigue, and the  challenge of meeting increased demand for services.  

Here are some of the discussion points we can share:

  • Minister Radhakrishnan noted that supporting and promoting volunteering is  one of her ongoing priorities as Minister for the Community and Voluntary  Sector.  
  • The Group discussed the importance of meeting the challenge of volunteer  burnout, and the need for more recognition of volunteers and the vital work  that they do.  
  • The Department of Internal Affairs is undertaking analysis to identify  opportunities for the Government to continue to support, promote and recognise volunteering in all its diverse forms in New Zealand.  
  • With Omicron now in communities across Aotearoa, the community and  voluntary sector and its volunteers will continue to play a vital role in the ongoing COVID-19 response. 

The next meetings are in May, then August. Please be in touch with any thoughts and ideas around. Future meetings will tackle topics including:

  • Continue discussions on the COVID-19 pandemic’s ongoing impacts for the sector.
  • The future for community funding models.
  • Community-led development opportunities for the sector.

Please be in touch with Michelle Kitney – should you have any thoughts or ideas to contribute ahead of these meetings.