James Cameron calls on New Zealand to ditch meat and dairy

The Government's on the charm offensive, attempting to convince the people of Taranaki turning off the oil and gas switch is not going to bring the centre to its knees.

But groups are not convinced - they say there needs be more money.

The Just Transition Summit took place on Thursday in Taranaki, and brought together voices on what the low-emission future should look like.

James Cameron - a Hollywood superstar director of The Terminator and Titanic, Wairarapa farmer, and now, fighter for environmental change.

Cameron says Kiwi farmers should ditch meat and dairy - and go vegan.

"We see a very, very rapid change in demand toward plant-based alternatives. The farmers are still gonna be producing; they are just gonna be producing something else," he said at the summit.

"It's already happening and it's happening worldwide."

The Prime Minister is not convinced dodging dairy is the future - she's got no plans to go vegan.

"I'm from the Waikato I don't know that I'd be allowed to go home if I became vegan, and I love cheese," she said.

So dairy won't follow oil and gas exploration onto the scrapheap.

"There will continue to be export demand for the products New Zealand's really good at producing, and that includes dairy products," said Ardern.

Jacinda Ardern and Cameron were in Taranaki for a summit on renewable energy - the Government announcing $27 million for an energy research centre in the region, and $20 million for research.

The funding comes on the heels of the announcement of the Government's zero-carbon goal - aiming to restrict global warming to 1.5degC.

Energy sector and environment groups both support the move but want much, much more.

"The way in which changes came about for the sector some will not feel it was just but we are trying to look to the future," said Cameron Madgwick from Petroleum Exploration & Production New Zealand.

Greenpeace agrees.

"We'd really like to see more ambition than this. A new energy centre for Taranaki is a fantastic start but we are hoping it's really the tip of the iceberg," said climate and energy campaigner Amanda Larsson.

The Government announced its big plan and targets for combating climate change 

Initiatives like this research centre are an important part of that - getting the regions and industry on-board.

But it's not enough to appease either side of the debate - no matter how many celebrities or superstars the Government rolls out to sell it.