Events and Campaigns

Community Planting

Council is working with community groups and residents to improve our environment by planting more native trees and shrubs. We already have thousands of trees and shrubs planted by community groups in our city's parks.

Getting involved

We welcome all groups whether they are large or small, young or old, experienced or inexperienced including:

  • schools
  • service clubs
  • ethnic groups
  • church groups
  • community houses
  • family members
  • sports clubs
  • environmental and resident groups.

Register your interest now through our Online Registration Form.


Planting is on public land which may include gullies, park boundaries, native bush restoration sites, undeveloped reserves, river banks or your neighbourhood area.

It involves removing undesirable vegetation, planting of native trees and shrubs, after care of plants or as much as your group wants to be involved with.

Council helps with the provision of plants and materials, technical support and publicity.

Achieving Together

With your help we can beautify our city by:

  • Revegetating our city to encourage native bird life, and increase its biodiversity for future generations to respect and enjoy
  • Learning about our native plants and ecology
  • Having a fun day out

Earth Hour

The Earth Hour story so far...

What began as a campaign to get Sydneysiders to turn their lights off, has grown to become one of the world’s biggest climate change initiatives. People around the world turned their lights off for one hour – Earth Hour.

Earth Hour started in 2007 in Sydney, Australia with 2.2 million homes and businesses turning their lights off for one hour. Only a year later and this event had become a global sustainability movement. Global landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, Rome’s Colosseum and the Coca Cola billboard in Times Square, all stood in darkness, as symbols of hope for a cause that grows more urgent by the hour. In New Zealand the Beehive, Christchurch Cathedral, Sky Tower, and Hamilton have all switched off to show their support. 

In 2009 Hamilton took part in Earth Hour for the first time and the event switched off the world with over 4000 towns and cities in over 80 countries switching off, all joining together in a global effort to show that its possible to take action on global warming. 51% of all New Zealanders switched off for Earth Hour, and Hamilton led the way nationally with 10.3% of electricity saved over that hour - indicating a very high participation rate in the city. 26.45 Megawatt Hour was saved in Hamilton, the same amount as powering 260,000 100 watt light bulbs for an hour, or enough energy to power between 10,000-15,000 homes for one hour. 

Earth Hour 2010 had cities in over 120 countries taking part. It was an even bigger call to stand up, to take responsibility and to get involved in working towards a sustainable future. Hamilton was the first New Zealand city to sign up for Earth Hour 2010 and marked the event in the central city with a market, entertainment, and an hour's darkness with Hood St, Victoria St and Garden Place all switching off. Iconic buildings and landmarks from Europe to The Americas once again stood in darkness.

More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. It also ushered in a new era with members going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet. Without a doubt, it’s shown how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause.

To help mark Earth Hour in Hamilton for 2012 we have entertainment planned in Hamilton Central plus...

  • Sign up to the Council’s Know It? Live It! programme (for free!) and receive one of 200 Kowhai trees. These will be given away at 8a Jolly St, Frankton as part of the public launch of the new electronic ‘e-Cycle’ recycling site.
  • Street entertainment including fire dancers in the central city during Earth Hour.
  • Victoria Street (Hood to Bryce), Garden Place and Hood Street streetlights will turn off for the hour (8.30pm – 9.30pm) as per the previous three years (under verandah lighting will remain on).
  • Many restaurants will be participating with lights off/candle-lit dining.

Earth Hour 2011

Hamilton achieved the highest energy saving in New Zealand.

To start the day Mayor Julie Hardaker launched Earth Hour live on the radio with a two-hour morning show on 92.0 More FM from the Mayor's office.

Despite persistent rain throughout the entire day, Hamilton managed to successfully participate in Earth Hour for the third time and received New Zealand's highest energy saving rate with WEL Networks recording a 9% saving, or 16 MwH.

Hundreds of residents still braved the rain to make a pledge on the Earth Hour pledge tree in Garden Place, and received a free kowhai tree to plant at home.

Many of the central city restaurants prepared Earth Hour evenings with candlelit dinners, acoustic music, and some even a special Earth Hour slow food menu, as fire dancers performed in the rain. 

Earth Hour 2010

Hamilton was the first New Zealand city to sign up for Earth Hour 2010.

Hamilton officially hosted Earth Hour 2010 in the central city working closely with businesses and hosting an all day event in Garden Place. Thousands visited the event throughout the day, which included a market and special entertainment including Zion Hill and MNB feat. NZ Idol winner Ben Lummis.

Hundreds of Hamilton residents made their environmental pledge on a specifically designed clothes line in Garden Place.

To mark Earth Hour Hood Street, Victoria Street and Garden Place streetlights all switched off for the hour and many of Hamilton's restaurants and bars marked Earth Hour in their own unique way. During this time fire dancers, cook island drummers and pop-opera group Lyrica entertained the crowds in a candlelit concert. The excitement was captured by TV3 and featured on 3News the following night.

One of the most poignant parts of the evening was prior to the switch off when a Hukanui School Earth Hour Ambassador Fynn Bodley-Davies read out a speech to the crowds in Garden Place. His speech was moving and presented a clear challenge on why we need to be looking after the environment better - "as there is no planet B!".

Energy saving figures showed that Hamilton, for the second year running, was one of New Zealand's leading energy saver during the hour with an 8% saving in  electricity over Earth Hour. National polling shows Hamilton residents' participation in Earth Hour grew from 48% in 2009 to 60% in 2010. This is the highest participation rate amongst nearly 50 New Zealand councils. 

Earth Hour 2009

During Earth Hour 2009 Hamilton led New Zealand by plunging into darkness.

Earth Hour 2009 was officially hosted at the Balloons over Waikato Earth Hour Nightglow at the University of Waikato. A crowd of 80,000 helped mark the event, with a musical performance by Pluto and a special Earth Hour hot air balloon.

The 'Earth Hour Solar Lounge' provided the hub of the event, where residents could also sign up to win a hybrid car that was on display.

Over 1000 Hamilton residents also made their environmental pledge on a specifically designed cube which was hosted in the solar lounge.

This cube was 1.2m x 1.2m x 1.2m and was made of 100% recycled and repulpable fibre board. Over 1000 pledges were made on the cube during Earth Hour, from switching lights off and starting a compost bin, through to being more conscious to what kind of make-up people purchased.

After Earth Hour the cube went on tour around Hamilton Libraries, Waikato Museum and WEL Networks where it received a lot of attention, and was then broken up into six separate panels. These panels now permanently reside at Hamilton East School, Hukanui School, Hillcrest Normal School, Peachgrove Intermediate, Melville Intermediate and Rhode Street School as a historical record of the pledges Hamilton made for Earth Hour 2009. In some cases the cube has been composted and gifted back to earth, taking our city's pledges with it.

Whilst in the central city many of Hamilton's restaurants and bars marked Earth Hour in their own unique way, with the Hood Street lights switching off for the hour. During this time a fire dancer provided entertainment for the crowds.

Energy saving figures showed that Hamilton led the way nationally with a 10.3% saving in  electricity over Earth Hour - indicating a very high participation rate in the city. 26.45 Meagwatt Hour was saved in Hamilton, the same amount as powering 260,000x 100 watt light bulbs for an hour, or enough energy to power between 10,000 - 15,000 homes for one hour.

Page reviewed: 15 Apr 2016 3:32pm