Online Privacy Statement


Volunteer Service Abroad Te Tūao Tāwāhi complies with the Privacy Act 2020 (the Act) when dealing with personal information. Personal information is information about an identifiable individual (a natural person).

VSA’s Privacy Policy sets out how we collect, store, use, and disclose personal information. Any information we collect about you is necessary for the purposes of VSA’s work and is treated in a confidential and trusted way, in accordance with the Information Privacy Principles outlined in the Act.

If you wish to seek further information on the Act, or you have concerns about your privacy, see

Our Privacy Policy may be amended as legislation is revised. Updated policies will be uploaded to the VSA website in a timely manner and our practices amended in line with the requirements of the Act.

Why we collect your information 

VSA collects personal information from you to help us in our work to match skilled New Zealanders with volunteer assignments including overseas assignments and e-Volunteering remotely. This information ensures we align your experience and knowledge directly with local people and communities.

Providing your personal information is voluntary. However, in some circumstances if you choose not to provide us with the requested information it may limit our ability to assess your suitability for an assignment or job you have applied for, or to assist with the administration of your donation (such as issuing you tax receipts).

If we wish to use your personal information for a new purpose(s), we will give you the opportunity to consent to that new purpose.

Information we collect 

VSA collects a variety of personal information if you are a volunteer, applicant, donor or supporter. The kind of information we collect may include:

  • Name, age, contact information
  • Credit card or bank account information
  • Education and employment background information (CV, reference checks)
  • Health (physical and mental) information gathered to assess your suitability for volunteer assignments

Who do we collect information from? 

VSA collects your personal information for the business purpose stated at the time of collection, 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. phone call or email),
    • the job or volunteer application process, or
    • when you donate to us.
  • Authorised third parties, including government institutions and authorities.

VSA endeavours to collect information from you wherever possible.

How we use your personal information

VSA uses your personal information for the business purpose stated at the time of collection. Below are examples of how we may use personal information gathered. This list is not exhaustive.

  • To verify your identity,
  • To enable us to assess your suitability for, and communicate with you, about an assignment/role that you have applied for,
  • To send you information about our work and our appeals to support that work,
  • To undertake appropriate reference, credit and criminal checks as part of the volunteer and employment application processes,
  • 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 a donation you have generously given,
  • To reimburse you if you are a selected volunteer or employee,
  • To respond to concerns or complaints raised,
  • To conduct research and statistical analysis (on an anonymous 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 personal 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 (e.g. an interest group in your area that you have indicated you would be interested in joining).
  • Relevant individuals or partner organisations located in the countries where VSA operates 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 with evaluating your suitability for any role you have applied for (volunteer or 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.

Protecting your personal information 

VSA 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. Where there is no legislative requirement, your information is kept for as long as it is needed for business purposes. The time your information is held for may include a period of time after your last contact with us, in case the information is required for anonymised reporting, researching, or any other purpose authorised by you or the Act.

VSA has implemented security policies, rules and technical measures to protect the personal data we have under our control from:

  • Unauthorised access
  • Improper use or disclosure
  • Unauthorised modification
  • Unlawful destruction or accidental loss.

Our employees and data processors who have access to, and are associated with the processing of personal information, are obliged to respect the confidentiality of our online visitor's personal information.

Accessing and correcting your personal information 

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

Your request should clearly set out the details of your request: Your name, the correction, the reason for the correction. We will advise you if there is a charge associated with this correction or copies of your personal information.

All requests for accessing or correcting personal information should be sent to VSA’s Privacy Officer here.

Reasons for Refusal to Provide Information  

VSA staff may receive requests for information. At times it may be inappropriate or unlawful to provide this information to the person or agency making the request.

VSA may refuse to provide information in the following situations which are outlined under section 46 of the Privacy Act 2020:

  • Where relatives or friends ask for information (unless the person concerned has provided their express written permission to release information)
  • VSA will not disclose reference check information comments to candidates as this is evaluative material compiled solely for the purpose of determining their suitability, eligibility or qualification for a specific role (both volunteer or internal).
  • VSA will not disclose personal information that would breach legal privilege.

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 VSA’s social media (e.g. Facebook) 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 that you review that site’s privacy policy before you provide your 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 web browser, although this may mean you cannot use all the features of the VSA website.