Four arrested at protest outside oil and gas conference

Four people have been arrested during a protest outside the petroleum and gas industry conference in Wellington.

Two men, aged 22 and 19, were arrested and charged with assaulting police outside TSB Arena on the waterfront.

A 20-year-old woman was arrested for obstructing a public place and given a pre-charge warning.

A 38-year-old man was arrested and charged with breaching the peace.

Protesters from a range of environmental groups are continuing to picket outside the annual conference on Tuesday morning, in what they call a Rally for Climate Justice.

Green MP and co-leadership contender Marama Davidson attended the rally to support the protesters.

"It's clear all around the world that we need to move on from fossil fuels, fossil fuel extraction, fossil fuel use. It's done, it's over," she said.

"These people are protecting our climate and I've come to show my support and bear witness to what is happening today."

Ms Davidson said the Greens' position is that New Zealand needs to stop all fossil fuel extraction and exploration as well as seismic exploration.

Oil Free Wellington spokesperson Teanau Tuiono said the protesters are calling on the Government to stop oil and gas exploration in New Zealand, to issue no new permits and provide a just transition for workers in the industry.

"We need to take bold, collective action now to prevent catastrophic climate change...The science is really clear, to prevent catastrophic climate change we cannot burn all the fossil fuels which we've already found, let alone explore for more."

Minister for Energy and Resources Megan Woods spoke at the conference and told attendees the Government is currently considering the Block Offer for 2018 and whether to offer new oil and gas exploration permits.

She said existing permits, some of which run as late as 2046, are not under threat.