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Big Hamilton thank you to essential workers

7 August 2020

Essential workers deserve major kudos for the work they did during the COVID-19 lockdown – and Hamilton City Council has a long weekend of thanks planned for them.

The Council is offering special deals across our community facilities for people who performed essential duties during Alert Level 4.

The Essential Workers Thank You runs from Friday 14 August to Sunday 16 August at Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato, Hamilton Gardens, Hamilton Zoo and Hamilton Pools.

Councillor Mark Bunting, Chair of the Council’s Community Committee, says the three-day event is a way the Council’s staff, including its own essential workers, can acknowledge others who worked outside their homes during a difficult time to support the whole community.

“While most of us remained safe in our bubbles during the lockdown, these people kept our city’s essential services running during an unprecedented and worrying time for all – we can’t thank them enough.”

Many of the Council’s own staff and contractors were out around the city during lockdown doing essential work, including urgent road repairs, clearing wastewater blockages, collecting rubbish, providing emergency meals and caring for zoo animals.

Deals offered over the three days of the Essential Workers Thank You include discounts and free admissions.


Hamilton Zoo – free entry for an essential worker and one guest.

Hamilton Gardens – a free guided tour on one of the promotion days for an essential worker and one guest plus a 10% discount at the Gardens café and Information Centre shop. Guided tours are held at 11am. Tour bookings are essential and can be made by phoning 07 958 5940 or emailing There is space for 30 people each day. More information about the tours can be found on the Hamilton Gardens website.

Waikato Museum – free admission for an essential worker and one guest to the blockbuster exhibition Dinosaur rEvolution. Free workshops on the same weekend include Secrets of the Skin (11am to 3pm Saturday), linked to the Dinosaur exhibition, and Illustration Workshop with Lisala Halapua (1pm to 2pm Sunday), a storytelling and illustration session. More information about the exhibition and workshops can be found on the Waikato Museum website.

Hamilton Pools – free swim entry at either Waterworld or Gallagher Aquatic Centre for an essential worker and one guest. The special is for pool entry and doesn’t include the sauna and steam room or hydrotherapy pool.


People need to bring either an employer’s letter on organisational letterhead identifying the holder as an essential worker during COVID-19 Alert Level 4 or an email from an employer with the same information, including organisational logo and contact details in the email signature. Photo ID is also needed.


A letter of authority provided during lockdown can be used. Workers do not need to still be employed by the organisation but should be able to produce a letter or email from their former employer as proof of their essential worker status during lockdown.