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Non-profit organisations contribute $6 billion to economy

Non-profit institutions contributed $6 billion (2.7 percent of the total) to New Zealand’s gross domestic product (GDP) for the year ended March 2013, Statistics New Zealand said today.

When the value from the labour of volunteers ($3.5 billion) is included, non-profit institutions contributed $9.4 billion (4.4 percent) to total GDP.

In 2004, the non-profit sector (including the value of volunteering), had contributed $7 billion (4.9 percent) to New Zealand’s GDP.

Non-profit institutions’ economic contribution









Contribution to GDP





Volunteer labour contribution to GDP





Total contribution to GDP





GDP represents NZ's income earned from production in NZ
Totals do not sum due to rounding 

The findings above are from the Non-profit institutions satellite account: 2013, which measured the operations of the non-profit sector for the year ended March 2013. The previous measurement was for the March 2004 year.

The total number of non-profit institutions was 114,110 in 2013, up from 97,000 in 2004.

The culture and recreation group had the largest number of institutions in 2013, including 17,990 in sport (up from 14,910 in 2004). Social services, development and housing, and religion were other significant activity groups.

Statistics NZ Annual Enterprise Survey Manager Susan Hollows said 90 percent of non-profits rely on volunteers and do not employ staff. However, paid staff numbers rose 30 percent between 2004 and 2013, up from 105,340 to 136,750.

“The number of people volunteering for non-profit institutions increased from 1 million to 1.2 million, but they contributed fewer hours in 2013,” Ms Hollows said.

The time volunteers spent working for non-profits dropped 42 percent, from 270 million hours in 2004 to 157 million hours in 2013. “These findings reflect a global trend, with other countries also showing reductions in time spent volunteering,” Ms Hollows said.

The non-profit sector’s total income increased 65 percent between 2004 and 2013, with sales of goods and services up 71 percent, to $8.3 billion. Income from grants, donations, and membership fees rose 54 percent to reach $4.1 billion.


For a visual overview of the contribution of non-profit institutions in New Zealand, see our infographic.


For media enquiries contact: Susan Hollows, (03) 964 8978 or 021 190 4316,

Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 14 June 2016

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