Jacinda Ardern hails 'kiwi ingenuity' of non-profit offering discounts to essential workers

Jacinda Ardern has commended the work of a New Zealand not-for-profit working to get special discounts for healthcare workers.

During Thursday's press conference the Prime Minister highlighted Thank You Healthcare, saying it was a great way to show appreciation for workers who have been under pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She hailed the idea as "kiwi ingenuity" and said it is also beneficial for businesses.

"It's playing two roles," she said. "Not only is it targeted at discounts for our healthcare workers but it's also targeted at our businesses that may not be able to operate yet, be that accommodation or spa experiences or even elements of tourism."

She said it will help them to prepare for when they are able to reopen in the future. 

The not-for-profit was started by Alika and Rahul Rai who have worked in tourism and philanthropy.

When Rahul spent three months in and out of hospital with health issues, they realised they wanted to find a way to give back.

During Thursday's speech, Ardern read out a quote from Rahul.

"'Now's the time to show our appreciation for everything these people do, not just in a time of crisis but every single day.'"

Ardern said she "couldn't agree more".

So far more than 30 businesses have contributed discounts to the website including food delivery, restaurants, bakeries, stadium tours, cruises, nutrition consulting and accommodation.

In a joint statement, Alika and Rahul said healthcare workers have been "heroes" during the pandemic and they just wanted to give back.

"Like all Kiwis, we are in our bubble, watching the news, and we wanted to find a way to recognise all they've done for us. 

"Thank You Healthcare is the result of this, and we're pleased at how many businesses around the country have already come on board to show their support with tangible and specific offers."