|The week of 17-23 June, is National Volunteer Week - an opportunity for all of us to celebrate the amazing contribution that volunteers make to New Zealand society.
This year’s theme is Volunteers, The Heart of our Community - by many, the work will be completed, Mā tini, mā mano, ka rapa te whai.
It is about the volunteering spirit and the essential link between volunteers and the communities who benefit from their generosity.
One of the ways that people make this contribution is though volunteering at the CAB, where more than 2000 volunteers from all walks of life are united by a desire to make a difference to people in their community.
CAB volunteers help people to know and understand their rights and obligations, and how to use this information to get the best outcomes. The contribution of these volunteers to their local community is immense; together they contribute over 260,000 voluntary hours per year to help people in their communities. They get a real sense of satisfaction in helping clients like Maria.
Maria, who had recently moved to New Zealand from the Philippines, came to see us because she had been offered a job but wasn’t sure about her employment agreement. She wanted some reassurance about the contract and talked to Ariana, a CAB volunteer.
Ariana looked at the contract and checked the CAB knowledgebase where she identified that the hourly rate being offered was actually last year’s minimum wage, and that the agreement didn’t include any provisions for leave and several other mandatory clauses had also been omitted. Ariana explained to Maria her minimum employment rights, and showed her how she could find more information about this on our website.
Armed with this knowledge Maria went back to the employer and renegotiated an acceptable employment agreement.
(Client and volunteer details have been changed to ensure confidentiality)
If you’re looking for a practical way to give back to the community and like solving mysteries and helping other people then the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) might be for you. You’d join the 2000-plus CAB volunteers around New Zealand who get enormous satisfaction from helping people with all sorts of queries.