National Volunteer Week is under way and National MP Harete Hipango visited the Volunteer Whanganui offices on Ridgway St to get the low-down.

It has come at a good time for Hipango as an amendment bill that she inherited relating to health and safety at work for volunteer associations looks well on track to pass.

The bill would amend the Health and Safety at Work Act to allow volunteer associations that employ one or more people for less than 100 hours a week to be excluded from the definition of a person conducting a business or undertaking.

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"It was my decision whether I accepted it as a responsibility as a bill and I was more than delighted to," Hipango said.

"It's enabling volunteer associations to not have to be caught by the onerous regulations and compliance of the Health and Safety at Work Act."

The bill has the support of NZ First, passed its first reading and will go before a select committee in the coming weeks.

While there, Volunteer Whanganui manager Sandra Rickey told Hipango all about their recycling is primary competition going on throughout the week.

Whanganui primary schools will be creating videos about how to reduce plastic and uploading them for the chance to win some major prizes, including a Lenovo laptop.

"I think it's a fabulous idea from Volunteer Whanganui and I like that there's an element of competition about it too," Hipango said.

"That's an important part in terms of the message to children, that you go out and work for a worthy cause and believe in it."

Volunteer Whanganui supports 106 organisations and with 901 volunteers, have the highest rate per capita in New Zealand.


"That's awesome, it's indicative of leadership in our communities, it's not only about the worthy cause, it's about people inspiring and leading the way," Hipango said.

"Volunteer associations get by on the smell of an oily rag, but when they're doing it, they don't think about it, they do it because it's the right thing to do and it needs to be done."