Online Privacy Statement


Volunteer Service Abroad Te Tūao Tāwāhi Inc (we, us, our) complies with the Privacy Act 1993 (the Act) when dealing with personal information. Personal information is information about an identifiable individual (a natural person).

This policy sets out how we will collect, use, disclose and protect your personal information. We want to make sure that any information we collect about you is necessary for the purposes of our work and is treated in a trusted and confidential way.

This policy does not limit or exclude any of your rights under the Act. If you wish to seek further information on the Act, or you have any issues or concerns about your privacy, see

Changes to this policy

We may change this policy by uploading a revised policy onto the website. The change will apply from the date that we upload the revised policy, or the date specified in the revised policy. This policy is in effect from 22 January 2019.

Why we collect information

We collect information to help us in our work to send skilled New Zealanders overseas to share their experience and knowledge directly with local people and communities. By collecting the information, we ensure we have what is needed to enable us to do our work and improve our day-to-day operations.

Providing your personal information is optional. However, in some circumstances if you choose not to provide us with the requested personal information it may compromise our ability to communicate with you, to complete necessary steps to assess your suitability for an assignment or job you have applied for, or complete the administration of your donation including issuing you with tax receipts.

What information do we collect

We collect a variety of information that is personal to you if you are an applicant, volunteer, employee, donor, or supporter. You can see a full list of information we collect here. The kind of information we collect may include:

  • personal details such as name, age, contact information
  • financial details including credit card or bank account information
  • education and employment background
  • any statistical data, education and employment background information, or physical or mental health information you have given to us as part of an application to volunteer or work for us.

Who do we collect your personal information from

We collect personal information about you from:

  • you, when you provide that personal information to us, including via the website and any related service, through any registration or subscription process, through any contact with us (e.g. telephone call or email), when you apply for a role with us (either as a volunteer or as an employee), or when you donate to us; and
  • third parties where you have specifically authorised this.

Wherever possible, we will collect personal information from you directly.

How we use your personal information

A full list of how we use your personal information can be seen here. In general, examples below provide an overview of how we will use your personal information: 

  • to verify your identity
  • to enable us to assess your suitability for any assignment / role you have applied for, and to communicate with you regarding your application including contacting you electronically (e.g. by text or email for this purpose)
  • to send you information about our work and our appeals to support that work
  • to undertake appropriate checks of you (if you have applied for a volunteer or employee role)
  • to collect money that you have agreed to pay us, including authorising and processing credit card transactions when you are attending an event we are running, or have generously donated to us
  • to reimburse you if you are selected as a volunteer or employee
  • to respond to communications / complaints from you
  • to conduct research and statistical analysis (on an anonymised basis)
  • to protect and/or enforce our legal rights and interests, including defending any claim
  • for any other purpose authorised by you or the Act.

Disclosing your personal information

Your information may be disclosed to a third party if you have authorised us to do so, or if disclosure is one of the purposes we gathered the information for in the first instance. Generally, we may disclose your personal information to:  

  • another group affiliated within our organisation (for example, an interest group in your area if you have indicated you would be interested in joining that group)
  • relevant individuals or partner organisations located in the countries we operate in if you are in the process of applying for an assignment or were successful with your application to volunteer with us
  • any person we engage to assist us to assess your suitability for any role you have applied for (whether that is as a volunteer or as an employee)
  • any person or business that supports our services, including any person that hosts or maintains any underlying IT system or data centre that we use to provide the website or other services to communicate with you
  • Ministry of Justice or NZ Police staff to conduct relevant criminal history checks on you
  • A person in a high commission or embassy responsible for issuing visas to their country
  • a person who can require us to supply your personal information (e.g. a regulatory authority)
  • any other person authorised by the Act or another law (e.g. a law enforcement agency)
  • any other person authorised by you.

You can see a full description of when we might disclose your information to a third party here.

Protecting your personal information

We will take reasonable steps to keep your personal information safe from loss, unauthorised activity, or other misuse.

We keep personal information for different periods of time depending on the purpose. For example, some information must be kept for longer periods of time due to legislative requirements (ie financial transactions, or those related to employment). This is usually a six, or seven, year requirement. Where there is no legislative requirement, your information is kept for as long as it is needed for us to do our work (for example, an application that is unsuccessful for one assignment may be kept for up to three years as a reference for a similar roles). The time your information is kept for may include a period of time after the last contact between you and us in case the information is needed for anonymised reporting, researching, or for any other purpose authorised by you or the Act.

We are updating our document retention schedule at present in order to be more specific about the time information is kept by us. We have provided a detailed list in our tables here and will be updating this information regularly.

Accessing and correcting your personal information

Subject to certain grounds for refusal set out in the Act, you have the right to access your readily retrievable personal information that we hold and to request a correction to your personal.

In respect of a request for correction, if we think the correction is reasonable and we are able to change the personal information, we will make the correction. If we do not make the correction, we will take reasonable steps to note on the personal information that you requested the correction.

If you want to exercise either of the above rights, email our Privacy Officer at Your email should provide evidence of who you are (to confirm that you are the individual to whom the personal information relates) and set out the details of your request (e.g. the personal information, or the correction, that you are requesting).

We may, in some situations, charge you our reasonable costs of providing to you copies of your personal information or correcting that information.

Internet use

While we take reasonable steps to maintain secure internet connections, if you provide us with personal information over the internet, the provision of that information is at your own risk.

If you post your personal information on the VSA’s social media, you acknowledge and agree that the information you post is publicly available.

If you follow a link on our website or social media channels to another site, the owner of that site will have their own privacy policy relating to your personal information. We suggest you review that site’s privacy policy before you provide personal information.

We use cookies to improve and analyse your use of our website. Cookies are a small amount of data sent from our website to your computer and are common to ensure your experience while visiting our website is a simple one. You may disable cookies by changing the settings on your browser, although this may mean that you cannot use all the features of the website.