Gerard Campbell |

This week, Hato Hone St John is shining a light on its more than 8,000 volunteers across Aotearoa New Zealand who help enhance the health and wellbeing of people in their communities.

National Volunteer Week runs from 18 June to 24 June and this year’s theme is He wā pīataata – Time to shine – and Rene Bosman, Hato Hone St John Acting Deputy Chief Executive – Community Health and Engagement, says if it wasn’t for the generosity of volunteers, the organisation would be much poorer for it due to the expertise, time and wisdom volunteers bring.

“Simply put, many of Hato Hone St John’s programmes and initiatives just wouldn’t be able to operate if it weren’t for our amazing volunteers who give up their time to support communities across the motu,” Ms Bosman says.

Hato Hone St John volunteers contribute millions of hours annually across services including emergency ambulance and event health services, Major Incident Support Team, Archives, Area Committees, Caring Caller, Friends of the Emergency Department, Health Shuttles, retail stores, Therapy Pets and St John Youth.

“Our volunteers play a significant role in helping build resilient communities and we are truly grateful for their selfless commitment to helping others. National Volunteer Week is a chance for us to say, ‘Thank you’ to show our gratitude for the contribution they make to New Zealand communities,” Ms Bosman says.

Kaj (pronounced Kai) Christensen, who has been a frontline ambulance, events and now Patient Transfer Service volunteer for nearly 18 years, says volunteering fulfils his love of helping those in need and making a difference to his community.

“My father was a volunteer for Hato Hone St John for 55 years and he was a real catalyst for me wanting to follow in his footsteps to help those in need,” Mr Christensen says.

Charli Timms, Hato Hone St John National Operations Manager – Ambulance Volunteering, has a favourite quote from American author Elizabeth Andrew which she believes sums up Hato Hone St John’s volunteers nicely: “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time, they just have the heart.”

Ms Timms says this year’s theme Time to shine is entirely fitting as Hato Hone St John’s emergency ambulance and Event Health Services volunteers shine every time they wear their green uniform with pride and head out to care for people in communities across the motu.

“Our incredible people go out of their way to give back in the most selfless way, working side-by-side to achieve some amazing mahi. Their contribution makes such a difference in so many lives and is invaluable to Hato Hone St John and the communities they serve.”

Ms Timms echoes that Hato Hone St John wouldn’t be able to do what it does without volunteers.  “It is my absolute pleasure to be in a position to acknowledge them and shine that light even brighter during National Volunteer Week,” Ms Timms says.

Hato Hone St John will be honouring its extraordinary volunteers throughout National Volunteer Week and encourages all New Zealanders who interact with or know a volunteer, to join with them in expressing thanks and appreciation to every volunteer.

For more information about volunteering with Hato Hone St John visit https://join.stjohn.org.nz.  

Hato Hone St John volunteer snapshot

  • 798 Youth leaders
  • 2,521 clinical volunteers
  • 784 Health Shuttle volunteers
  • 630 Friends of the Emergency Department, Hospital Friends & Community Carers
  • 576 Caring Caller volunteers
  • 403 Therapy Pet volunteers
  • 1,550 retail store volunteers
  • 752 Area Committee volunteers
  • 11 Order Matters volunteers
  • 68 Governance volunteers
  • 83 Chaplains


- ENDS –



  • Hato Hone St John provides emergency ambulance services to 90 percent of New Zealanders and covers 97 percent of the country’s geographical area.
  • Hato Hone St John is made up of a mix of full-time paid employees and volunteer staff.
  • Hato Hone St John has contracts with Te Whatu Ora Health New Zealand and ACC who fund approximately 90 percent of the operating costs for the ambulance service. The balance on what is required to run the service is made up from ambulance part charges, third-party contracts, and fundraising.
  • Along with the emergency ambulance service, Hato Hone St John provides a significant number of community health programmes and initiatives which help build community resilience. They include Health Shuttles, Caring Caller, Friends of the Emergency Department, St John Youth, ASB St John in Schools, and Therapy Pets.
  • Hato Hone St John also delivers event health services, medical alarm services, first aid training and operates retail stores across the country.



Hato Hone St John media team

E media@stjohn.org.nz | Ph 0800 756 334 (0800 MEDIA)

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