Hundreds of vegan protesters march straight through Wellington's Christmas celebrations

Wellington's Christmas celebrations were supposed to be two days of family-orientated festivities but hundreds of vegan protesters have gatecrashed the fun, marching straight through them to protest animal rights.

Wellington Vegan Actions organised Saturday's march to rally against various issues affecting animals - but their march route took them directly through the launch of the two-day festival A Very Welly Christmas on Lambton Quay. 

Photos on social media show masses of protesters interspersed with bewildered-looking families.

"The clash is real," wrote one attendant on Twitter. "Bewildering scenes for dads of Wellington and some likely explaining to do re Rudolph's Rights."

A spokesperson for Wellington Vegan Actions says the protest was necessary as animal rights are "one of the most urgent social justice issues of our time".

"We like to think of ourselves as a compassionate nation, but we cause unnecessary suffering and misery to millions of animals in Aotearoa," said Chris Huriwai.

Demands being made of the Government include a call for the abolishment of animal agriculture, animal testing, the use of animals in entertainment, and the killing of introduced species.

For Wellingtonians wanting to experience the Christmas cheer, A Very Welly Christmas will run from midday on Saturday 28 to Sunday 29 on Lambton Quay and its surrounding streets.