Volunteering: A community response to the Rena oil spill in New Zealand
Sargisson, R. J., Hunt, S., Hanlen, P., Smith, K., & Hamerton, H. (2012). Volunteering: A community response to the Rena oil spill in New Zealand. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 20(4), 208-218.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6758
We explore the experiences of people who volunteer to help remediate the effects of non-natural environmental disasters. Following the grounding of the Rena, volunteers were engaged to clean up the resulting oil spill on the beaches of Tauranga, New Zealand. Volunteers were later invited to respond to an online questionnaire about their experiences. More women than men responded, and respondents tended to be older, and engaged in the paid workforce or retired. Greater membership in community organizations was associated with a greater participation in clean-up events. Respondents were positive about the experience, and were more positive when they had actually participated in a clean-up event, with positivity remaining high even after multiple volunteer occasions. Recommendations are made for increasing volunteer participation.