Students from around Hawke's Bay were part of a global movement on Friday, swapping pens for placards to march for action on climate change.

More than 100 students and some adults descended on Napier's Clive Square Gardens, despite many schools around the country warning that absent students would be marked as truants and could face punishment.

Now known as Schools Strike 4 Climate Action, the movement originally started in August 2018 when 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg began protesting outside her parliament on school days.

New Zealand was the first country to hold strikes yesterday, followed by capitals and cities across Australia, Europe and the United States.

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Taradale High School student Matthew Adams spoke to the crowd. He said they had a "responsibility" to act.

"My strength is not that of an individual, but that of a collective. We are here to stand together for our futures ... to show the people in power that we care and so should they," he said.

Francesca Frost, of Havelock North High School. Photo / Paul Taylor
Francesca Frost, of Havelock North High School. Photo / Paul Taylor

"We are the first generation to feel the effects of climate change and the last to be able to stop it. We have 12 years to act on climate change before the effects are irreversible."

Adams said while it made him "scared", the number of students passionate about the issue filled him with "hope".

Havelock North High School student Francesca Frost came to the protest with a banner asking: "Why should we go to school when you won't listen to the educated?"

She believes not enough action is being taken by the Government.

"They should be doing a lot more. We are the future and it is unfair on us."

Hawke's Bay students to strike for climate change.

Pippa McKelvie-Sebileau brought her three school-aged children.

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Originally from France, she said they had been watching the events from around the world and believed "it is important that we are part of that international movement".

Her 10-year-old daughter, Zoe Sebileau, said they wanted to have a "beautiful earth when we are older".

"If we don't speak up now, nobody is going to listen to us."

Florence Patel-Gaunt, of Havelock North Primary School, and Pipi Ellis, of Parkvale, at the strike. Photo / Paul Taylor
Florence Patel-Gaunt, of Havelock North Primary School, and Pipi Ellis, of Parkvale, at the strike. Photo / Paul Taylor

Napier Labour MP and Police Minister Stuart Nash attended the demonstration.

"This is fantastic. It is good to see young people passionate about the issues that are important."

However, he said the "politicians in this Government have heard what they've said and they are listening".

"The Prime Minister herself is driving this. James Shaw, who is leading this on behalf of the Government, is incredibly passionate and articulate on this cause and we will begin to see change".