Student Volunteer Week (SVW) celebrates young people who are striving to make a change through volunteering, and encourages students to try volunteering.

This year, from 1-7 May, a wide variety of events, activities,  and awareness-raising campaigns led by universities, tertiaries and schools will take place nationwide.

Volunteering New Zealand champions student volunteering. Students benefit by growing their skills, experiences and opportunities through volunteering, while NGOs gain from the skilled and willing volunteers that help them achieve their missions.

SEEK Volunteer is the 2017 sponsor of Student Volunteer Week.  SEEK Volunteer connects potential volunteers with organisations needing help.

What’s Happening


“I also like to think my enthusiasm for conservation work is not only annoying but contagious as well.”

Connor Wallace’s volunteering began five years ago with the Motutapu Restoration Trust, an organisation committed to revitalising both the natural and cultural landscape of the Hauraki Gulf island. He was a junior member of Forest & Bird through primary school and has recently become more active with Forest & Bird as a North Shore Committee member and founding committee member of Forest & Bird Youth.
 Read the Q&A

What do you like most about volunteering for Forest & Bird and the Motutapu Restoration Trust?
The thing I like most about my involvement with them is the way in which both organisations provide perfect opportunities for me to learn from active conservationists – they tend to be the type of people that will help you if you ask.

What is your proudest moment as a volunteer?
The first rat caught by a Goodnature Trap that I had installed with support of the Upper Harbour Local Board was a very proud moment but topping even that was the phone call letting me know that I was to receive Forest & Bird’s Te Kaiārahi Rangatahi o te Taiao Youth Award for 2016.
What are some of the methods you use to encourage people to become “citizen scientists”?
To encourage people to step up as citizen scientists I make use of Facebook and my own website (www.enviroyouth.com) to publicise volunteering opportunities, as I know this an effective way to communicate with fellow teenagers. I also like to think my enthusiasm for conservation work is not only annoying but contagious as well.
Red Cross Journey

Student Activity: Red Cross Journey

What’s it like to be a disaster support volunteer for the Red Cross in a country like Tonga or Myanmar? The Red Cross Journey is an interactive online platform that allows you to choose one of two journeys to follow and help the Red Cross at the same time. See more

The Red Cross says: “Put your students’ energy to a good cause. They can step up and get active as we head into winter – and do their bit to help vulnerable people both at home and overseas.
Join Red Cross Journey and choose to follow either the journey of a former refugee fleeing to safety, or one of our disaster support volunteers as they train and respond to emergencies around New Zealand. Walk or run laps around the school field to cover the distance and learn about the challenges, fears and joys along the way. And by fundraising over the month, students will be joining the Red Cross family of good people doing good things, helping people in your community and around the world.”
WHEN: 8 May – 8 June 2017
WHERE: Wherever it suits the students – walking or running around the school field, the cross country route, PE sessions, sports trainings and games…all can count towards the distance.
HOW: Registrations open online 20 April 2017. Register your class as a team. Then, from 8 May, start counting the steps or recording the distance and have fun fundraising. And how about challenging another class or school to add to the fun?!

Download the PDF flyer for schools

Massey University

Massey University is taking part in Student Volunteer Week (SVW) across all three campuses. As part of student volunteer week (SVW) student will have the opportunity to take part in volunteering and meet with prospective community organisations. See more

We are planning events including micro-volunteering, volunteer visits, mini expos, blood donations, a “doing-good” wall recognising current volunteering students are doing and a variety of other activities.

We are looking forward to making an impact both on and off campus. Any questions contact us on careersupport@massey.ac.nz. Visit careers.massey.ac.nz for additional information.

Massey University – Palmerston North

The Massey University Students Association, Massey Manawatu Halls of Residence, MU Sustainability Club and the Career & Employability Service have brought together a week of events on the Palmerston North Campus that show just some of the ways you can be a volunteer while at University. See more

To find out about what is happening in Palmerston North please see https://www.facebook.com/events/295593744211006/ as well as our Facebook pages below for further details during the week.


Kapiti Community Centre

Kapiti Community Centre

Boomerang Bags and other opportunities
We are in the planning stages of organising sewing ‘Boomerang Bags’ and would like to get a group together during Student Volunteer Week 1-7 May.
See more

This leads up to another event we will be working in partnership with Kapiti Coast District Council on, a Sustainable and Green event called No.8 Wire Week.
Community volunteers make Boomerang Bags from recycled or leftover material. The bags are left at various outlets for shoppers to use instead of plastic bags. The bags can later be returned to the shop on the next trip in town and left for someone else. The project would help reduce plastic pollution, by reducing the plastic waste going to our landfill.We’ve also identified a few other opportunities for students volunteering, including:

  • Centre Spring Clean – clearing of our Storage Area we would order a skip bin.
  • Future Event – No.8 Wire Week (June date tbc). Collating and distributing bags – ‘Take the Pledge GREEN Bags’ for Children and Adults. Once bag is sewn, additional items will be delivered ready for collating.

We would be delighted to provide references for work provided and achieved. It’s great to see students coming together with our community members in a joined effort – giving back to Kapiti community and the environment!

Volunteering Canterbury

At the University of Canterbury
Following from last year’s successful Student Volunteer Week Expo at the University of Canterbury, Volunteering Canterbury had 13 organisations attend. This year we have secured a larger venue with great foot traffic – right by the the University of Canterbury café! See more

We also have permission for our organisations who are in the animal sector to bring some furry friends along with them.

This is an opportunity for organisations to profile their volunteer programme to a targeted audience. For Volunteering Canterbury, it is recognition of the relationship which we have with the University which enables us to advocate for volunteering at Careers Fairs alongside big businesses.

At Lincoln University
At Lincoln University we will be inviting students to ‘Give volunteering a shot’, a tagline we have used in the past. Students will be able to ‘drop in’ to see us in the foyer of the Library Learning and Teaching area.

Check online!
In addition, Volunteering Canterbury posts regularly to NZUniCareerHub with volunteer roles which have been identified as of interest to students and fitting with student timetables.

Volunteering To Learn

There is limited research to date on the university and host organisation perspectives of student volunteering. This project from universities in Australia focuses on student volunteering practices adopted by universities to enhance student learning. See more

This project, “Volunteering to Learn: Enhancing learning in the student volunteering experience in Australian universities”, took place from 2013 – 2015.
Visit the Volunteering to Learn website to find Good Practice Guides in areas including for host organisations, potential employers, universities, and volunteers.

The project identified three types of university student volunteers, four types of host organisations and eight models in operation across Australian universities. A Companion Guide has been developed to accompany the Good Practice and Concept Guides and to offer more information on some aspects of University Student Volunteering.

Volunteering Waikato

Volunteering Waikato

Volunteering Waikato recruits and refers volunteers within the Waikato Region. See more

We currently work with more than 320 community organisations assisting them to find the volunteers they need to run their services, and we work with more than 3,200 volunteers a year – helping them to find the right voluntary roles to meet their needs. During Student Volunteer Week we will have targeted promotional materials at Waikato University and Wintec, and will use our social media to encourage students across the Region to get involved in volunteering. Visit: www.volunteeringwaikato.org.nz

We want to hear from you!

If you’re creating your own posts on Facebook or Twitter, we encourage you to tag Volunteering NZ by using our @address (@VolunteeringNZ) to mention us in your posts, and by using the hashtag: #SVW2017

During the week we’ll be on the lookout to retweet and post material from you about student volunteers and programmes in different areas:
Monday: Conservation & animals
Tuesday: Sport
Wednesday: Health
Thursday: Community & civic participation (including law)
Friday: Arts & culture
Saturday: Rescue & safety
Sunday: roundup (and those we’ve missed)

We’re tagging student stories with #SVWprofiles on Facebook.

Volunteering Auckland

Are you ready to make a difference? If you’re in the Auckland region you can browse volunteering opportunities, learn about getting started, See more

or even apply online on Volunteering Auckland’s website.
As part of Student Volunteer Week, Volunteering Auckland will be attending the Massey-Albany Volunteering Expo and the AUT Employability Matters Expo — so see you there!
If you are unable to attend one of these student events and would like to volunteer or you have volunteering opportunities that you wish to promote, please get in touch.

Gisborne Volunteer Centre Youth Volunteer Awards

The Gisborne Volunteer Centre Youth Volunteer Awards is an annual event that gives the community the opportunity to recognise and thank youth for the good work they have contributed to the community. The aim is to highlight their volunteer effort, building awareness of the positive actions and goodwill of youth.

Date: May 4, 6-9 pm
Place: Holy Trinity Church Hall, Derby St, Gisborne
Contact: Jenny Greaves

Research around volunteering points to job hunting success

SEEK Volunteer commissioned independent research conducted in 2016 around work experience and volunteering.See more

The research found that 94% of employers believed that volunteering can be a credible way of gaining real-work experience to add to your resume.
As long as the volunteering work is relevant to the role or industry you want to work in, 93% of hirers believe that it’s just as credible as paid work. That means it should feature in your resume and application, especially if you’re looking to secure your first job.
See more research here.

The research was conducted by Nature, with a sample of (n=500) people in the workforce who have been involved with hiring decisions.


PFNZ has room for all student volunteers, whether your passion and commitment lies within our Angel Tree Programme, working with families– we will find you a place in our family. See more

We are currently building the PFNZ family around the country through a network of flexible, responsive, ‘clusters’ as we seek to serve. Read more in this PDF: PFNZ Student Volunteer Week 2017.

Volunteering enhancing employability

New Zealand universities are encouraging students to volunteer in their communities as a way to develop their leadership skills and increase their chances of employment, says Hannah Amante. Read more at Jetmag’s website.

Lagi Tuimavave

“…unbeknownst to them, it is those sentiments that drives our passion to be volunteers.”

Lagi Tuimavave volunteers for Community Law of Wellington and Hutt Valley.  She studies Law at Victoria University of Wellington.

What do you like most about volunteering for Community Law Wellington and Hutt Valley?
I volunteer in the Wellington office and what I love most is being able to give back to people in the community and providing a service that makes a difference in their lives.
Keep reading the Q&A

The client is the center of attention and the central focus is on alleviating the pressures they are under by helping them with the tools that I have. Sometimes the advice might not necessarily be a legal one, it can be a practical one. It is really rewarding when our clients pour their hearts out with gratitude because of the time and free service we’ve given them. but unbeknownst to them, it is those sentiments that drives our passion to be volunteers.What does a typical day as volunteer at Community Law look like?

I volunteer on Thursday nights which is Māori Kaupapa Night. If I am the shift leader I turn up at 5 p.m. and prepare sign up sheets because we usually get a significant amount of clients. I greet our clients on their way in and explain to them what they have to do with the sheet. They fill it in and return it to me at the desk. I ensure that I conflict check everything to prevent giving advice to both parties to a dispute. It is on a first-in first-served basis.

As I am a student volunteer and a lawyer in training, I have a great mentor to assist me when giving legal advice. Before heading into the interviewing room, I always introduce myself and my mentor to the client because it is important to make that connection immediately. We then head into the room, hear the issues and give advice. There’s always three lawyers and two student volunteers during the night plus a supervisor, so among us, we try and see all the clients. Most of us leave at just before 7.30 p.m.

What is one of your proudest moments as a volunteer?

I am full Samoan and when we get clients of Pacific Island descent, it is easier for me to identify nerves and reservations among them. I would completely understand if I was in their position because getting free legal advice is unheard of. However I use my identity and language to build rapport and connect with all our clients (not exclusive to Pacific Islanders) because I understand what it is like to be in a disadvantaged position and in need of help. It’s incredible to see the contrast in people when you brief them about confidentiality and how often they can return to get more free legal advice. I love the fact that there is so much diversity in our clients coupled with the fact that our volunteers have the best interests of our clients at heart.

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Student Volunteer Awards

Volunteering Bay of Plenty will be holding an inaugural Student Volunteer Awards during SVW2017. The awards will be on Monday the 1st of May at 16:30 – 18:30.
See more

The awards are to recognize and encourage students to volunteer their time. The students at Aquinas College have been helping  with the organisation of this event. We have speakers attending to discuss youth mental health and how volunteering can help make a difference in the youth’s lives. There will also be prizes given to the winners and Ice-cream Vouchers from Bayfair Wendy’s for the student nominees. Visit https://www.volbop.org.nz/individuals/students/
Victoria University logo

Victoria University of Wellington

To mark Student Volunteer Week (SVW), Victoria holds a university-wide event to celebrate, encourage and thank the large community of students who give their time and energy to volunteer their time on campus and around Wellington. See more

An event celebrating volunteers, on Thursday, 4 May, will feature speakers including Hon. Alfred Ngaro, Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Dr Chris Eichbaum, VUWSA’s Rory Lenihan-Ikin, VNZ’s Scott Miller, and several student volunteers.
A range of special events for volunteers will be held around campus which gives other students the opportunity to find out more about volunteering at Victoria. This includes assisting our learning and disability services, connecting with international students, supporting our student recruitment team, providing volunteer academic mentoring, becoming a class representative or faculty delegate and giving time to lead and manage a club. Be inspired—download the Student Volunteer Stories PDF on the Careers and Employment website.
In the wider community between 2,500 and 4,000 Victoria students do voluntary work every year. Amber Brooks, a Master’s student, says that volunteering helps you have a better perspective of the community. “When I’m street collecting, I see how generous and nice people can be. It also feels good to take a break from the stress of study and connect with people or nature through my other volunteering.”Amber is also one of about 600 students actively involved in the University’s Victoria Plus Programme, which aims to develop students’ leadership potential and instil social responsibility and employability skills.

University of Otago

UniCrew is an active community of student volunteers from the University of Otago. Across Student Volunteer Week, UniCrew will be collaborating with a variety of external community organisations as well as student-led social action groups to encourage, promote and celebrate the student volunteer spirit! See more

Events for the week so far include a Block Party, where students volunteer in a local neighbourhood, a community mingle connecting students with our former refugee community, as well as pop-up volunteer celebration events on campus.

Keep up with what UniCrew is up to via our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/unicrewotago

Volunteer Wellington

Volunteer Wellington

During Student Volunteer Week, Volunteer Wellington, Volunteer Hutt and Volunteer Porirua will be meeting with students from across Wellington. We will be giving them some K Bars, donated by Whittaker’s, and bookmarks with our contact details so they can come and see us to find out more about volunteering opportunities. See more

Volunteer Wellington will be meeting students at Massey University to talk about volunteering and will organise with some local community organisations for students to begin their 2017 volunteering roles! We will also be looking for students to support The Heart Foundation’s work as part of their fundraising at the Wellington Marathon in June.

Volunteer Wellington is also going to be part of the Careers Expo at Victoria University, talking about the ways volunteering can be a pathway to employment as well as a chance to be involved in exciting community activities.

Volunteer Wellington and Hutt are also speaking to students at their LEAP induction day at WelTec, Petone. LEAP is a chance to gain leadership experience, enhance employment prospects and form valuable connections within the local community. Students get to volunteer and participate in a variety of environments. Visit Volunteer Wellington

SVW Toolkit and guide available

Download a copy of the Student Volunteer Week resource guide (PDF) or view the Toolkit below for individual image downloads.


Student Activity: Curriculum unit for level 7-8 students

Are you looking for ways to incorporate volunteering in your classroom? Check out this New Zealand Curriculum resource for level 7-8 students. See more

Volunteers are Enterprising people is a cross-curriculum resource that offers teachers for Level 7-8 students to approach learning about volunteering within a classroom program. The Learning context is: To use the social inquiry process to find out about people in our community who are volunteers and therefore possess enterprising skills and attributes. This will reinforce that not all enterprising people are business people, volunteers use their initiative to work for the community. 

Image Credit: Justine Warrington, https://flic.kr/p/4cQy5w

Get Involved

For Organisations

Get involved! Become a SVW Champion and support SVW by holding an event for student volunteers. Register your event and get listed on our NZ-wide events map.

Or use the week to launch a recruitment drive for student volunteers.

See the Resource Guide for more ideas.

For Students

Are you a student looking to volunteer? Get involved!

Find your local volunteer centre  OR

Search SEEK Volunteer for opportunities


Use the Toolkit below to publicize Student Volunteer Week.

Click on the relevant toolkit category to view and download the files inside.

Download Poster
Download Email Signature
Download Bookmarks
Download Certificate



Volunteer Centres work independently of Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ) and are your main point of contact for local and regional volunteering issues and initiatives. Note that these organisations are not VNZ branches or regional offices.


Volunteering NZ
PO Box 25 333, Featherston Street
Wellington 6146 +64 4 384 3636

For event/ campaign queries: martha@volunteeringnz.org.nz

For national media queries: laura@volunteeringnz.org.nz