Migrants And Volunteering In New Zealand: A Research Study For The Voluntary Sector Of New Zealand 2018 (NZ)


Published: May 2018

Author: Eric Chuah

Published by: Cultural Connections - Multicultural Research and Consulting and Volunteering NZ

This study investigates migrant volunteering in New Zealand (NZ) focusing on how migrants find information on volunteering, their motivations to volunteer, experiences, benefits and barriers to volunteering. This study analysed online quantitative surveys from 91 respondents.

Migrants make up 25% of the NZ population. A migrant is defined as someone who was born overseas but is living in NZ. Migrants are the fastest growing demographic group in NZ.

Different ethnic groups have different ways of finding out about volunteering. For example this study found 67% of European migrants found out about volunteering from friends or family while 43% of Filipino migrants sourced their information from volunteering websites. Only a small proportion of new migrants engaged directly with charities to find their volunteering opportunities.

78% of migrant volunteers were motivated by intrinsic purpose such as contributing to society and 54% by social purposes such as making new friends. 49% stated gaining local work experience and learning about NZ culture as their motivation to volunteer.

More than half the respondents had volunteering experience in their home country. One third of migrants volunteered within their first 12 months in NZ and over two thirds would recommend volunteering to others.

The major benefits seen by migrant volunteers includes achieving a sense of contribution, learning new skills and gaining a sense of belonging. Many of the motivations for volunteering align closely with the felt benefits of volunteering. For example the main motivation respondents listed was contributing to society or for a good cause which was also the main benefit sought by volunteers.

Barriers for migrant volunteers include lack of time, not knowing where to source reliable information and inconvenient location of volunteering opportunities.

Full report here.