VNZ’s Response to COVID-19

Our team is working from home and we are available through Zoom, email or phone, so please keep in touch. We need to hear from Volunteer Involving Organisations about the impact of COVID-19, please complete our survey.

Please note: This page was updated on 29 March 2020. As the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolves we encourage you to keep up-to-date with the latest advice via

Connect with your local Volunteer Centre

There are 17 regional Volunteer Centres around New Zealand. The Volunteer Centre network has mobilised to take expressions of interest from those available to help during the pandemic. Each centre will be working within their own communities infrastructure, and with Civil Defence. Get in touch with your local centre to connect with opportunities to collaborate.

>> Connect with your local volunteer centre

Essential services and volunteering

The government has documented what it considers are essential services during Alert Level 4. There are now Ministry leads for each sector. It is up to the government, not organisations, to decide on what is an essential service. Their classifications may change over time. COVID-19 essential services and volunteering: Anyone tasked by their CDEM (Civil Defence Emergency Management) team are considered to be an essential service. Further guidance will be available soon.

Keeping volunteers safe

Thanks to Volunteering Otago for these sample Volunteer Guidelines volunteering at levels 3 and 4.

What VNZ is prioritising

  • Our priority and core focus is on the volunteering community and volunteers at this time. We’ve released disaster/pandemic resources.
  • Virtual volunteering resources are our next priority.
  • We are working closely with regional Volunteer Centres, supporting them to safely support their communities.
  • We are your voice to government, and we are trying to get answers to your questions. So keep sending us them.

He waka eke noa – We are all in this together. VNZ is here to support you where we can. Get in touch if you want to share ideas and challenges. You can contact our Chief Executive Michelle Kitney: or phone 027 681 4956. We would love to hear from you.

Please stay safe, take care and be kind to one another.

VNZ resources and support for the community sector:

VNZ has carefully selected the following resources, tolls and information to support the volunteer and community sector at this time.

VNZ’s Volunteering Resources (click to view)
Published: 24 March 2020

We have brand new Volunteering Resources available to support managers of volunteers and the governance of volunteer-involving organisations.
COVID-19: Please refer to the ‘Pandemic/Disaster’ resources. We will be updating this section regularly with relevant resources from around the world. It is good to keep ahead and see how our friends across the world are managing through this pandemic.

VNZ’s social media graphics – inspiring community support (click to view)
Published: 24 March 2020

The power and potential of volunteering, Mahi Aroha and social action shines through at times when our communities are stretched and challenged. To help support and inspire volunteers and your community, we’ve created some social media graphics you can use!

Action Station’s COVID-19 Community Toolkit (click to view)
Published: 26 March 2020

Despite the restrictions of the current Level 4 lockdown, there are still many opportunities to support others and build community ties that will endure. This online resource will help anyone to reach out to those most vulnerable and affected by Covid-19 and collectively make sure they are safe and supported.

COVID-19 Information for Māori (click to view)
Published: March 2020

Te Puni Kōkiri have a dedicated page to provide further information and access to content about key issues that could affect you and your whānau, along with guidance and advice on how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

IAVE Webinar: The Safety and Health of Volunteers (click to view)

IAVE Webinar: Managing Virtual Volunteers During a Pandemic (click to view)

Published: March 2020

Due to the unique circumstances arising from the coronavirus crisis, new and innovative solutions are being developed to assist organisations who engage volunteers.

Exult’s COVID-19 Response: Funding available for non-profits (click to view)
Published: 31 March 2020

Exult have compiled a list of funding options available to non-profits. Please note: this is not an exhaustive list, Exult will continue to update this list as more funds are established.

Community Response – 5 things you can do (click to view)
Published: 20 March 2020

We’ve created five ways we can all help out in your communities from making the most of local online support groups to supporting isolated or vulnerable people.

We are all in this together: Resources for volunteer involving organisations (click to view)
Published: 18 March 2020

Like you, we’ve been following the news and watching the impact of COVID-19 on our communities rapidly unfold. To help support you at this time, we’ve pulled together a range of support resources relevant for Volunteer Involving Organisations.

Michelle Kitney

We encourage you to get in touch if you want to share ideas and challenges during the COVID-19 response. You can contact Michelle Kitney, CE at VNZ, directly by email or phone 027 681 4956. Michelle would love to hear from you. Also, please signup to our newsletter to receive our latest updates and information.