The culture of volunteering constitutes an integral part of active lifestyle and national identity of New Zealanders. However, Smith and Cordery (2010, p. 6) delineate “the difference between the European concept of giving (volunteering) and the Māori concept of cultural obligation (sharing).” As such, the concept of volunteering can be most closely translated to the term mahi aroha in te reo (Māori language). In 2013, it was estimated that over 1.2 million New Zealanders participated in volunteering in a country of 4.4 million population. More recently, Gemba (2015) reports that over half of New Zealand’s sports volunteers also participated in event volunteering at least once a year. This chapter provides an overview of New Zealand’s expanding sports volunteer workforce, acknowledging the impact of the isolated nation’s emergence as an award-winning international sport event destination. It documents the role and relationship of central government in both fostering and funding local volunteer programs, before making a link to the concepts serious leisure and social capital. Finally, it provides a case study of the 2017 World Master Games Pit Crew, a team of 3,216 largely local volunteers who donated more than 75,000 hours of their time, working 19,000 shifts over a two-week period.
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