Four Greenpeace protesters who scaled Parliament walls have been ordered to pay "token" reparation costs for their stunt.

Johno Smith, Jeff Harrison, Abi Smith, and Verena Maeder each pleaded guilty to a charge of trespass and were stung with a $750 order in Auckland District Court this afternoon.

The manager of parliamentary services wrote an affidavit for the court saying the protest had cost the government more than $36,000.

The defendants - donning red overalls and carrying solar panels - scaled the walls of Parliament in June to deliver a message to the Government.


The protesters climbed to near the top of the building, holding signs and banners, two reading, 'This is real climate action', and another said: "Cut pollution, create jobs? Yeah, nah."

Their lawyer Steven Lack asked Judge Evangelos Thomas to convict and discharge his clients but he ruled the offending had to be marked more severely.

"Each of you knew what you were doing, you knew what you were doing was illegal, you knew you would be charged and there was a penalty you would have to pay; and you considered the message was worth that price," the judge said.

Mr Lack said the action taken by the quartet was peaceful and undertaken with the utmost caution.

"It was purely and simply a well-planned protest for getting across the message of climate change to New Zealand as a whole," he said.

The lawyer said no one else was put in danger through the incident but Judge Thomas disagreed.

"You claim you did not put yourselves in danger but as a matter of common sense any climbing enterprise brings with it some danger," he said.

However, the pair did concur on the character of the four defendants; the judge calling them "contributing and very well-meaning members of society".


Only one of them had a previous conviction and Judge Thomas said it was historic and irrelevant to the proceedings before the court.

Outside court Mr Smith said he would probably be willing to break the law again to get the message across.

"We're willing to take legal risks because we believe NZ should be at the forefront of global efforts to address climate change," he said.