Employment New Zealand states: Work experience, short-term work trials and longer unpaid internships are increasingly common in some industries. If an employer does not want to pay somebody to do these roles they must make sure that the person is a volunteer. If an employer is thinking of having somebody do an unpaid work trial or internship, or work experience, they should: Make absolutely clear that the position is a volunteer position and that the person does not expect payment or other reward. This should be done in writing. Make sure that the volunteer does not receive any payment. Avoid getting an economic benefit from the work done by the volunteer. Avoid having the volunteer do work which is integral to the business, such as work that an employee would ordinarily do. Limit the duration of work and the hours worked by the volunteer. The longer a person volunteers and the more hours they work, the more likely they are to be an employee.
For somebody to be a volunteer they must not expect payment and they must not receive payment. A volunteer is not an employee, so employment law does not apply to them (with the exception of Health and Safety law). If the parties want a volunteer relationship, it’s important they make it clear that the worker does not expect payment and does not receive payment. Otherwise, the worker may be judged to be an employee. Payment does not include; reimbursing the volunteer for the expenses they incurred when performing the volunteer work, a koha or honoraria, any personal satisfaction a volunteer may get from the work.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment states: An unpaid intern or volunteer can help you with; Freeing up your time, Doing one-off jobs Charity work or anything that might give them new experience or skills. In return, the intern should get from you; any training that is required to do the task, a record of when he/she worked for you, a written agreement that explains this is an unpaid internship/volunteer position only, what the nature of the intern work is, and what the duration of the internship. any necessary Health and Safety training or equipment
Immigration New Zealand states: On a visitor visa you can do volunteer work while in New Zealand, provided you receive no gain or reward. You must not expect or receive gain or reward for the volunteer work you do. Gain or reward is any payment or benefit that can be valued in terms of money. Examples include: accommodation, such as board or lodging, goods, such as food or clothing, services, such as transport and training. If your intention is to receive gain or reward, you are not considered to be a volunteer and should consider applying for a work visa.