Thousands of pupils around the country have skipped school today to join global protests demanding urgent action on climate change.
Led by the student movement Fridays For Future, countries across the world will be taking part over the course of the day.
Demonstrations, marches and rallies are being held simultaneously in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and New Plymouth to draw attention to global warming and demand action from leaders.
Climate-change protesters have come out in force in Wellington.
Wellington’s School Strike 4 Climate group says it has six key demands it’s fighting for this year.
It says its main focus is on the country’s biggest carbon emitter, the agricultural sector, but it also wants to see the government cut transport emissions.
To those assembled in Parliament, Green Party co-leader James Shaw was met with rousing applause.
He urged them to keep their action up, saying the cause needed to regain momentum, following Covid.
A spokesperson for School Strike 4 Climate Wellington, Izzy Cook, said other demands included ending coal and gas exploration.
“The government has said they’re committed to being carbon neutral by 2050 but based on what changes are being made to the way we live and the policies that are being introduced and things like that… I think and I think a lot of other climate activists think that the government’s just not doing enough and that’s why we continue to strike,” she said.
Cook, a Year 12 pupil, said she worried how climate change would affect her future, or whether she would even have a future, unless urgent action was taken now.
The events were expected to conclude by 2pm.