New Zealanders have given $1.8 billion to charity in the past year and have donated more than 1.3 million hours of work per week.

The figures are based on the registration of charities seeking an exemption from paying tax on donations, New Zealand Press Association reported on Monday.

The Charities Commission said 24,000 organisations have signed up to the system. Some of the charities have an income of less than about $14,000 a year, while others are pulling in more than $14 million .

The Commission said the registration process means people can now find out more about a charity they are thinking about giving to.

It is urging people to make a difference in their community or internationally, by donating their time, goods or money in the coming year.