Live updates: New Zealand's school kids join global climate change strike

It is the strike that has divided a nation - is it a worthy cause for the country's kids to be undertaking or just a day off school? 

Children from around the country are protesting today against climate change and what they see as inaction to prevent it. 

Kiwi kids will join with more than 40 other countries in a global protest for action on climate change.

Protesters are demanding the Government "do more" to solve the issue of global warming.

2:22 - If you have any information about the incident in Christchurch email news@newshub.co.nz

2:20 - Those in Christchurch or at Hagley Park can keep up to date with the latest developments here: Gunshots heard near Hagley Park in Christchurch

2:12 - Police have confirmed shots have been fired in central Christchurch near Hagley Park. It happened at 1:40pm. 

Armed police have been deployed and police are urging locals to remain indoors and report any suspicious behaviour to 111.

2:07- There are reports of an incident in central Christchurch, which is reportedly affecting the climate protest.

2:00 - Kids at Waitakiri Primary School have come together to send a climate change message, pictured here from a drone. 

Live updates: New Zealand's school kids join global climate change strike
Photo credit: Waitakiri Primary School.

1:50 - There have been several creative placards on display across the protests. Here is one of Newshub's favourites.

1:06 - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has released a statement acknowledging the strike.

"I have said that climate change is my generation's nuclear free moment - for them it's literally their future.

"My message is simple, we hear you and we're getting on with setting a path for carbon neutrality. Please keep bringing as many people as you can with you, because we simply won't achieve our goals alone."

12:56 - It isn't just the main centres protesting, students are out in force in smaller towns like Nelson, Masterton and Whanganui.

12:52 - James Shaw has shared some "adorable cards" he received at the climate strike.

12:48 - Jacinda Ardern is in the Taranaki to speak about the region's transition away from offshore oil and gas exploration.

She has also appeared at climate change protest in New Plymouth.

12:42 - Green MP Jan Logie is at a protest in Christchurch.

12:40 - The politicians have now finished speaking in Wellington and are mixing with the crowds.

12:32 - Auckland Mayor Phil Goff is at Auckland's Aotea Square where a protest is taking place.

12:31 - Students in Dunedin are also protesting.

12:15 - A Generation Zero representative wants a more specific date on the Zero Carbon Act.

James Shaw says it will have to be introduced before June to be passed this year.

Grant Robertson said it isn't just another piece of legislation and will require enormous change across society. 

12:10 - Jame Shaw, Grant Robertson and Nicola Willis are now answering questions about what they will do to tackle climate change.

12:09 - "It is an environmental challenge, it's a social challenge, it's an economic challenge, it is a challenge that we have to work together on because it touches every aspect of our lives," says Willis.

12:05 - There was a mix of boos and claps when National MP Nicola Willis began speaking.

"I may not be a climate change expert, but I am a mother of four children... what I know is that they must inherit a world that is dealing with climate change, and that world will be shaped by our collective action today."

"We know that climate change is the most important environmental challenge in the world."

12:03 - Shaw said he is committed to seeing the Zero Carbon Bill passed in 2019.

"So for the first time, we have a legally binding committment to staying within 1.5degC of global warming, because if we do not, we do not have a future."

He also reiterated his support for an independent climate change committment to "hold us accountable and make sure we get there".

"Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, in fact it is the greatest challenge of all time."

James Shaw speaking.
James Shaw speaking. Photo credit: Newshub.

11:59 - Minister for Climate Change James Shaw is now speaking, thanking the students for turning out and fighting for their future.

"Politicians have been talking about climate change for 30 years... it is time for the talking to stop and it is time for the action to start."

11:58 - Hundreds have turned out at Auckland's Aotea Square to express their voices.

Live updates: New Zealand's school kids join global climate change strike
Live updates: New Zealand's school kids join global climate change strike
Photo credit: Newshub.

11:53 - Donna Awatere Huata, the Māori climate commissioner, said Friday's marches were a huge success.

"God damn people, I am so proud of you for being brave," she said.

She said March 15 is now "mokopuna survival day" and similar marches should happen next year.

11:50 - Several students have spoken outside Parliament calling for more decisive action from the Government in tackling climate change.

11:40 - James Shaw has appeared outside of Parliament before he speaks. He can be seen with the black eye he sustained on Thursday when he attacked.

Live updates: New Zealand's school kids join global climate change strike
Photo credit: Newshub

11.09 - "Enough talk, action now", one striker’s sign reads, while another says, "It’s our future, don’t ruin it for us".

 

11.05 - Newshub political reporter Zane Small is in Parliament and says thousands of students have turned out in front of Parliament with signs demanding action from the Government.

"The cheers are chilling - a reminder that young people have a big voice."

10.57 - Newshub reporter Alex Baird says thousands of students have turned up to protest. 

Live updates: New Zealand's school kids join global climate change strike

10.52 - Radio host and climate change sceptic Sean Plunket has a special message for the strikers. 

10.30 -Thousands of students are in Wellington’s Civic Square with placards protesting inaction against climate change. 

10.27 - The first protest is underway in Wellington where a large crowd of students has turned up.  

10:25 -

What is happening and where:

  • Wellington - Protesters will gather at 10am at Civic Square, followed by a march down Lambton Quay to Parliament. Speakers are expected.
  • Auckland - Midday at Aotea Square. No march is planned, but musicians, speakers and spoken word poetry is expected. 
  • Dunedin - Expected to start at midday with a march down George Street, then a rally in the Octagon.
  • Christchurch - Kicking off at 1pm at Cathedral Square - music, guest speakers and cultural showcases from local schools.

Events are also planned for Nelson, Raglan, Hamilton, Whanganui, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Russell, Lower Hutt and Kapiti.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz