Mega-strike: Teachers to take to the streets in protest over pay and classroom support

The teaching megastrike is underway on Wednesday with more than 50,000 teachers - from both primary and secondary schools - walking out of classrooms.

Many will march through the streets of our main cities, demanding a better deal from the Government.

The strike will close at least half of the country's schools and has left the parents of almost 774,000 children scrambling to find other things for them to do.

The Government says it's offered $1.2 billion to the teachers and it won't back down.

However teachers say it isn't pay they're crying out for, it's support. Some teachers have even said they're ready to quit their jobs if nothing changes.

Many businesses will struggle today as staff take the day off to look after their children. Some have come on board with help.

Accounting software company Xero is giving employees three options: take a 'wellbeing day', work from home, or bring the kids in to play while they work.

"Well they might have three of mine, because I think it'll be a great way to keep them entertained for the day," said director of marketing Valerie Walshe.

"But yeah, could be 10, could be 20, could be 30. It all depends on how people are coping on the day."

But 97 percent of businesses are small, and if there's machinery in the workplace, many are too dangerous for a child.

Small Business Council chair Tenby Powell said it was an opportunity for business to work together.

"A lot of small businesses work in clusters, so there is an opportunity if they wanted to get together to say 'how do we find a way to pool our resources, as we do so wonderfully in New Zealand, and look after the children for the day?'" Powell said.  

Teachers on the march:

Auckland: 12pm: teachers will march up Queen Street to Aotea Square

Wellington: 12pm: Teachers will march from Civic Square to Parliament.

Christchurch: 11:30am: Teachers will march from Victoria Square to the Ministry of Education.