Understanding migrants’ experiences of volunteering.VNZ is developing and delivering a nationwide programme to support better volunteering outcomes for recent migrants to New Zealand.

We are aiming to strengthen volunteering opportunities for recent migrants and demonstrate how volunteering can make an important contribution to their positive settlement and inclusion in communities.

Our Migrant Volunteering Programme focuses on supporting the community and voluntary sector to enhance the way they reach out to migrant communities, engage with new migrants and actively support migrants as they participate in volunteering activities.

Understanding migrants’ experiences of volunteering

As part of our strategy development we have been working to understanding migrants’ experiences of volunteering.

In March 2018, VNZ connected with Cultural Connections, a multicultural research and consulting firm. Cultural Connections undertook a quantitative survey with migrant communities through Cultural Connections’ networks to help VNZ understand how new migrants engage with volunteering. During April 2018, ninety-one migrants responded to the online quantitative survey and shared their experiences.

The information Cultural Connections has been able to provide VNZ through this survey is helping us learn about new migrants understanding of volunteering, their motivations to become a volunteer and the barriers they face. With a better understanding of the issue and opportunity posed by engaging new migrants in volunteering we are able to develop a programme of work that is more likely to have positive results.

Key insights from the survey include:

  • Timing: 1 in 3 migrants volunteered in first 12 months of their arrival.
  • Outreach: Ethnic groups have different ways of finding out about volunteering,
    (e.g. 67% of European migrants found out via family/friends, whilst 43% of Filipinos found out via volunteering websites).
  • Motivations: Respondents were more likely to be motivated to volunteer to contribute to society or meet new friends that gain local work experience.
  • Benefits: Respondents noted that volunteering benefits them by offering a sense of contribution (71%), opportunity to learn new skills (61%), and a sense of belonging (59%).
  • Barriers: The most common barriers to volunteering included a lack of time, not knowing where to source reliable information, and volunteering in an inconvenient location.
  • Positive view: 7 out of 10 migrants would recommend volunteering to others.

We look forward to sharing more research and insights with you in the future.

Current Stakeholder Engagement

We are currently inviting Volunteer Involving Organisations and Volunteer Centres to share information about the way they currently engage with recent migrants, the difficulties they face and what supports they could utilise. If you would like to contribute to this stakeholder engagement activity please email us on comms@volunteeringnz.org.nz. In fact we are currently surveying Volunteer Involving Organisations about how they currently engage with recent migrants. You can contribute to this by completing this survey.

VNZ Migrant resources and further information: