NZ second most giving country in world

By Ben Irwin

World Vision NZ CEO Chris Clarke in the devastated city of Tacloban in the Philippines.
World Vision NZ CEO Chris Clarke in the devastated city of Tacloban in the Philippines.

New Zealand has been named the second most giving country in the world, largely thanks to more Kiwis giving up their time to help others.

The results of the World Giving Index survey - organised by the UK-based Charities Aid Foundation - reveal that New Zealanders are second only in giving to Americans, and tied at number two with Canada and Myanmar.

According to the index, 40 per cent of New Zealanders volunteered their time in the past year - up from 38 percent in 2012.

Chris Clarke, CEO of World Vision New Zealand, had noticed an increased number of Kiwis - especially young people - putting up their hands up to help over the past year.

"I find it very inspiring because many don't have lots of money that they can give away, but they've certainly got time and talent,'' he said. "So we're delighted, in a very practical way, that that's what they're giving.''

The study also found that 67 per cent of New Zealanders had helped a stranger in the past year, while the same percentage had donated money.

Mr Clarke said World Vision New Zealand's typhoon Haiyan appeal had raised $1.4 million in just over a month, with the majority of donations under $40 and coming from "middle New Zealand".

He said New Zealand's giving nature, despite having a population of only 4.5 million, was part of the country's psyche.

"New Zealanders do respond unbelievably generously every time they see a crisis happening in some other part of the world,'' said Mr Clarke.

Gwen Pearson, Oxfam New Zealand's engagement and marketing director, said what made New Zealander's different was that they gave to a variety of causes, both at home and abroad.

"They don't just support Oxfam, they support five or six other charities as well,'' she said. "They spread it around, they don't choose one or another, they have causes that they like to support and will continue to support.''

The 2013 World Giving Index canvassed 135 countries.

Australia, which topped the list last year, dropped to number seven this time.

The average percentage of people donating money, volunteering time, and helping a stranger globally all grew in 2012 in relation to 2011, despite a continued fall in the rate of growth of the global economy from 4 per cent to 3.2 per cent.

The full report can be read at www.cafamerica.org/wgi-2013.

This fourth edition of the World Giving Index again presents giving data from across the globe over a five year period (2008-2012). The World Giving Index 2013 includes data from 135 countries that was collected throughout the 2012 calendar year.

- NZ Herald

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