Sponsoring an Activity in the Community

A guide for sponsors

How it works

Activity in the Community projects provide clients with opportunities to participate more fully in the lives of their communities. Activity in the Community aims to help clients develop and maintain motivation, confidence, skills and self-esteem.

At Work and Income we can help introduce you to the right people for the project - and continue to provide support and advice.

Our clients may have a personal plan with us. This plan may include activities that will assist them to meet their individual goals. Your project may be included as part of the plan.

The Activity in the Community project should:

  1. Benefit the community and/or the environment.
  2. Benefit people by developing or maintaining their self-esteem, confidence, motivation, work disciplines and dignity.
  3. Not result in the private benefit of sponsor organisations, in terms of profit or competitive advantage.
  4. Not result in the substitution and/or displacement of current or future paid workers.

Any organisations that benefit from an Activity in the Community must contribute to the project by meeting the overhead costs.

We review projects available from sponsors. If your project is accepted, suitable applicants will be referred to you for consideration. You can decide who you want to take on.

  • Your responsibilities

    If your project is accepted, you'll need to provide:

    • the information we need to monitor the project, such as what timeframe is required to achieve the end result
    • adequate supervision for participants.

    Your responsibilities as a project sponsor are the same as if you were employing the person. The rules are set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 and the Human Rights Act 1993.

    If you're unsure about what these responsibilities mean, or you need advice, please contact us or call Employment Relations Service on 0800 800 863.

  • How we can help

    Work and Income is responsible for monitoring Activity in the Community projects. We will:

    • check that everything is operating as agreed
    • investigate and promote further sponsorship opportunities.

    We will also check that:

    • materials, transport and facilities are available as agreed
    • the Participation Allowance (see next page) is being paid to participants
    • those taking part are participating for the agreed number of hours
    • conditions are safe
    • there is appropriate supervision
    • participants are receiving the experience agreed to in their personal plan.
  • Payments for participating in a project

    Participants that are receiving a benefit may receive a:

    • non-taxable Participation Allowance of $21 per week to cover participation related expenses
    • reimbursement for Actual and Reasonable costs of up to $20 per week incurred by participation.

    You pay the Participation Allowance directly to the participant - but only for the days they attend (we can help you work this out). We will reimburse the amount to you. We pay the Actual and Reasonable costs directly to the participant.

    Participants are automatically covered for injuries with Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). You don’t have to pay any premiums.

  • Hours of participation

    • A person can only take part for 5 days in any one week - this may include a Saturday or Sunday with the participant's agreement.
    • Generally, people cannot participate in a project for more than 26 weeks.
    • Participants aren't required to participate on public holidays - they can do so, but only if they agree.

    Please talk to us if you are looking at extending the hours of participation or changing the activities from those that are agreed.

    Any additional payments you make to the participant count as income for them and may affect the level of income support they receive. Please talk to us if you are considering this.

  • Getting the most out of the relationship

    If you're sponsoring a project but haven't had much experience in managing people, here's some useful advice on how to get the most out of your relationship with your participant. If you need support, please call us. Remember, we're here to help you manage your community project.

    Supervision is about trust and responsibility. You know your project well, but to the participant, it's all new. You'll achieve the best results if you:

    • explain clearly what you expect the person to do (you may have to do this quite often at first). Ask the person to repeat back what you’ve asked them to do so you both know the instructions have been understood
    • let them get on with the task
    • allow them to develop their responsibility and self-reliance levels. For example, you could agree that the activities will be checked at set times
    • start by giving them less challenging tasks to help build their confidence
    • encourage them to ask questions
    • treat all your team members consistently – with consideration and fairness.
  • Managing participation

    Activity in the Community projects aim to provide community participation for the people who choose to take part. If there are problems, it's important to sort these out as quickly as possible.

    Discuss the problems with the person concerned. They have chosen to take part in the project for the opportunity it provides - so it should be possible to negotiate a solution.

    It is important that both sponsor and participant are clear about the activities to be undertaken on the project. You need to clearly define what you want them to do and how they are to do it.

  • Dealing with special needs

    If you sponsor a disabled person or someone who's had a health condition or been injured, you'll need to ensure your workplace meets their requirements.

    New immigrants, or those who have come to New Zealand as refugees, may have difficulties understanding you. It is important to respect their religious and cultural beliefs and practices. Be sensitive to these needs and treat them with respect.

  • Becoming a sponsor is simple

    Step 1: Call us on 0800 778 008 if you are a community-based organisation interested in sponsoring an Activity in the Community project.

    Step 2: We'll begin the search. Once the project is approved, we’ll refer suitable applicants for you to interview.

    Step 3: You conduct the interviews, do any reference checks and make your decision. Then we talk through the selection process and what you have to do next. It's up to you whether you choose to take anyone referred to you by us.


0800 778 008