Current member organisations cover emergency services, health, welfare, education, culture, faith based services, community support, ethnic groups, sport and recreation, conservation, special interests, advocacy and international volunteering.
The 16 Volunteer Centres are autonomous organisations working in their local communities. They join together to participate in a national network, and work collaboratively with VNZ to share knowledge and experience, and work on shared projects.
VNZ's mission is to create an environment which supports, promotes, values and encourages effective volunteering by the people of Aotearoa New Zealand. Its primary objective is to be the leader in 'all things' volunteering in Aotearoa New Zealand, and it aims to lead, promote and represent the volunteering movement in New Zealand.
The actions VNZ takes to achieve its objectives include:
VNZ was established in August 2001 during the International Year of the Volunteer. Volunteer Centres and a number of national organisations had lobbied for the establishment of a national body for the volunteering movement, and the International Year of the Volunteer gave the reason for this to happen.
Volunteering New Zealand is the New Zealand Representative of the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE), the international organisation representing volunteering worldwide.