Surf Life Saving New Zealand is taking the opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable contribution made by its members during the largest celebration of volunteering and civic participation, National Volunteer Week (NVW).
NVW is coordinated by Volunteering New Zealand (VNZ) and is celebrated annually in New Zealand during the third week of June. This year, it is being held from June 15-21 and the theme is "Naku te rourou nau te rourou ka ora ait e tangata," which translated means "with your contribution and my contribution, the people will live."
VNZ has selected this proverb to encourage individuals to bring together their own skills, knowledge and experience to share via volunteering and benefit the wider community.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand CEO Paul Dalton says this year's theme is particularly relevant to our organisation. "We have around 18,000 members spread across 74 clubs nationwide and last season our volunteer lifeguards spent over 213,000 hours on patrol. "That's a vast web of skill and knowledge that is working together for the good of our community and literally saving lives," he says.
Mr Dalton says SLSNZ is proud of its volunteers all year around but it's important to take an opportunity like National Volunteer Week to make sure they know their efforts are appreciated.
Since 1910 extraordinary New Zealanders have been volunteering their weekends to patrol New Zealand beaches. But Mr Dalton says being a volunteer lifeguard involves much more than giving up your summer to patrol.
"There are countless hours of training, continued up-skilling and keeping their surf clubs running. Being a volunteer lifeguard is a huge commitment, and for many of our members it's a lifetime commitment. Volunteers are the lifeblood of our national rescue service and we are grateful and proud of every one of them- it's thanks to our people, our lifeguards, that Surf Life Saving can continue to operate, he says.
Surf Life Saving New Zealand will announce its 'Volunteer of the Year' at its annual Awards of Excellence in Wellington on September 20.
For more information about National Volunteer Week visit http://www.volunteeringnz.org.nz/news-events/events/nationalvolunteerweek/
For more information please contact:
Lisa Honeybone, Media & Communications Specialist,
Phone 09 303 9335 or 0276 488 823