June 9, 2013

Volunteer Recognition (2) National Volunteer Week

Posted in Celebrations, Good news stories, Recognition of Volunteering, Valuing Volunteers tagged , , , at 4:28 am by Sue Hine

Yes, in a week’s time New Zealand will have its turn at turning a spotlight on Volunteering.  It is a time for national celebration of the work of volunteers, their organisations – and for the people responsible for managing volunteers.  So what’s with the promotional banner adopted for this year?  Volunteering NZ’s briefing explains.

The Proverb:

“Hutia te rito o te harakeke       Kei whaea te kōmako e kō?       Kī mai ki ahau;       He aha te mea nui o te Ao?         Māku e kī atu                   He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata.”

If the heart of harakeke was removed, Where would the bellbird sing?   If I was asked What is the most important thing in the world?    I would say:   It is people, it is people, it is people.           

The Plant:

harakeke[1]Harakeke  is one of New Zealand’s oldest plant species.  We call it flax, but really it is a lily.

Harakeke supports a community of birds, animals and insects.

Harakeke  is a fibre plant sourced by Maori to use  in all parts of domestic life and community living.

Harakeke is surely the symbol to represent volunteering, to signal the weaving between all peoples and their connections with community and the land.

[Read more about the history and uses of Harakeke here.]

The Poster:


Look closely – see the interlacing weaving, see the linked arms of community, of people, creating a badge of honour.  Volunteering is by People, for People, and about People.

The Pride:



In  the run-up to National Volunteer Week volunteers are going to great lengths to parade the world of their work.


Go Volunteers!  And please, take notice of what their managers are doing every day, in every way, to create the best possible experience for volunteers.