Hundreds of school children across the city will leave their classrooms today to join the global strike for climate change.
Thousands of students and pupils from Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty will join rolling strikes from Invercargill in the south to Russell in the north throughout the day to urge elected leaders to take immediate action against climate change.
Two local events will take place: One at Red Square in the Tauranga CBD and the second in Mount Maunganui at Te Papa o Ngā Manu Porotakataka (formerly Phoenix carpark).
Otumoetai College student Sophia Cerdeira, who helped organise the Tauranga strike, said she was expecting a big turnout.
A large group from her school would be attending.
"I'm passionate and terrified of what our future is looking like, our generation wants and needs change."
She said it was time for the country and the world to acknowledge that.
A spokeswoman from Otumoetai College said the school was not going to stop the students going to the strike, but they needed to bring a note from their parents acknowledging their absence.
Local waste advocate Leo Murray, who has been asked to speak at the Tauranga central event, said the conversation now needed to be about what children had to say as "we have heard far too much from the adults".
He said it was time for the younger generation to stand up and say "hey, this isn't good enough".
The government and the media needed to start telling the truth about climate change, he said.
"It's too late to debate."
Parent Coral Dixon, who has two young children involved in the strike, said she had no problem with her children taking the afternoon off school to express their thoughts on an issue that would affect their future.
According to the School Strike 4 Climate NZ Facebook page, the Tauranga and Mount Maunganui events had just under 500 people interested or attending.
Waihī made headlines earlier this week with the news that some of the town's preschoolers would join the strike.
Up to 200 students from Waihi College and local primary schools were set to march through the town today to meet Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga.
Both the Tauranga and Mount Maunganui strikes start at 1pm.
Thirty-one events across the country are set to take place today.
Where it began:
The global movement was sparked by 15-year-old Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, who decided last August to stay away from school until the Swedish general election on September 9.
She protested by sitting outside the Riksdag (Parliament) every day during school hours with a sign, "Skolstrejk för klimatet [School strike for climate]".