by ROWENA OREJANA
Auckland diocese had been praised by the Ministry of Community and Voluntary Sector for being one of New Zealand’s top 20 volunteer work charities.
Community and volunteering sector Minister Jo Goodhew said volunteering rates in New Zealand reached a five year high earlier this year.
“New Zealanders are very generous people. In terms of giving and volunteering, we have consistently ranked among the top five countries by the CAF World Giving Index. This year, we ranked third overall,” she said.
She said the number of hours people are volunteering had increased a little. “We know that 45 per cent of the adult population volunteer,” she added.
In a letter to Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn dated November 16, she congratulated the diocese “for the wonderful work that you have done over the years to attract and retain such motivated and generous volunteers, who help people in need, and support them in faith”.
Minister Goodhew added, “The Charities Register, which keeps statistics about charities in New Zealand, shows that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Auckland Group is one of our ‘top 20’ charities for the number of people that volunteer each week and contribute their time to help you carry out your wonderful work”.
Statistics from the Charities Register show that in 2014, Auckland diocese came in fifth after Surf Life Saving New Zealand, The Priory of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem, Royal Federation of New Zealand Justices Associations and New Zealand Red Cross.
Bishop Dunn said he was pleased to receive Minister Goodhew’s message. “Volunteerism is intrinsic to our Catholic faith. We are all called to love and help one another,” he said.
More than 455,000 New Zealanders volunteer for a charity every week, contributing about 2.8 million hours. The government funds Volunteer New Zealand to promote the sector and support the work of all the regional centres. International Volunteer Day was celebrated on December 5.