Ruby Finlayson was delighted with the response to Friday's Global School Strike 4 Climate march through Kaitaia.

The Kaitaia College Climate Action Group had been hoping for 100 marchers, and achieved that and more.

"I think we got the attention we wanted," she said.

They certainly made plenty of noise as they marched north along Commerce St then back again, to a brief rally on the steps at Te Ahu, led by megaphone-wielding student with messages including 'The climate's changing, why aren't we?' and 'Stop the pollution, that's the solution'.


The action group was now asking students to sign a petition calling on the Far North District Council to declare a climate emergency, and hope to meet with mayor John Carter.

More than 100 students also marched in Kerikeri, most of them from the local high school bolstered by others from as far away as Russell, Kawakawa and Kaeo.

Kerikeri High School student Lena Huia Booth said it was wrong that children would be forced to clean up the mess left by the current generation of adults.

"It's really important that we make adults aware of what's happening to our planet. I don't think they're doing enough. It's their children and grandchildren that will suffer," she said.

She called on the Government to do more to encourage drivers to switch to electric vehicles, to boost public transport, and reduce wasteful and excessive packaging.

The demonstrations received no support from Act deputy leader Beth Houlbrooke though. She questioned the use of the term 'strike', given that the students were not withdrawing a service, and what it was that they hoped to achieve.

"Planting trees, fencing riparian margins, doing beach and waterway clean-ups, reducing our consumption of non-recyclable plastics and other non-biodegradable materials, decons-tructing buildings instead of demolishing them, undertaking pest management programmes and other initiatives that help to increase biodiversity are all practical things we can do to help look after the environment," she said.

"They are things most of us gladly involve ourselves in, for the immediate results they produce."