In our third social research “Migrants and Volunteering in New Zealand”, we collaborated with Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ) to understand how new migrants engage with volunteering. VNZ is is the peak body for volunteering and is an association of volunteer centres and national and other organisations with a commitment to volunteering.


They are currently developing and delivering a nationwide programme to support better volunteering outcomes for recent migrants to Aotearoa New Zealand. The aim is to strengthen volunteering opportunities for recent migrants and demonstrate how volunteering can make an important contribution to their positive settlement and inclusion in communities.



During April 2018, ninety-one migrants responded to the online quantitative survey and shared their experiences. The information that we collected helped VNZ to 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, VNZ is 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 than gaining 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.


What does it mean for migrants?

To learn about the values, way of life in New Zealand, and integrate with local community, consider joining a volunteer organisation. VNZ website has a range of volunteer groups and locations that will suit you. Alternatively, check out some of the multicultural community groups in Auckland and around New Zealand.


What does it mean for volunteering organisations?

If you are seeking a specific migrant group for your organisation, then find out what is the best way of reaching them and how to communicate the benefits to them. Use the insights from this research to engage and connect with migrants.


Click here to download a copy of the summary report.


We would like to thank Michelle Kitney (General Manager) and Jaleh McCormack (Programme Advisor) from VNZ for this collaboration opportunity to benefit all the organisations in the volunteering sector in New Zealand.