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Source: New Zealand Government

Nominations have opened today for the 2021 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, as part of National Volunteer Week.

“We know that New Zealanders donate at least 159 million hours of volunteer labour every year,” Minister of Health Andrew Little said in launching this year’s awards in Wellington.

“These people play a huge part in keeping us healthy and well, whether it’s volunteering as first-responders in emergencies and helping people get to medical appointments, or fundraising and providing support and friendship to people facing tough times with their health.

“Every volunteer deserves our gratitude; these awards give us a chance to recognise them and say thank you.”

The Minister launched the call for nominations for this year’s awards at the Newtown office of the Kites Trust, where people who have used mental health services in the past support those who are using them now.

Among those there to meet him were members of Hutt Buddies, a group of former inpatients of mental health units who have been trained to help people being treated at Te Whare Ahuru, Hutt Hospital’s mental health unit.

“Hutt Buddies was recognised in the 2020 Ministry of Health Volunteer Awards,” Andrew Little said.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards ceremony didn’t go ahead last year, so I am delighted to be able to publicly recognise Hutt Buddies today.”

Nominations for the 2021 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards open today and close on 16 July.

More information about the awards and past recipients is available at