Thousands of adults joined tens of thousands of students for New Zealand's third school strike for climate yesterday.

More than 40 events were held across Aotearoa as part of an international movement sparked by climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The 16-year-old herself tweeted her support for the Kiwi movement writing: "New Zealand leading the way into Friday ... Good luck everyone striking around the world. Change is coming!!"

Organisers called on the wider public to join this time around — and dozens of businesses and organisations shut their doors to take part.

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A letter signed by more than 11,000 people called for the Government to declare a climate emergency and to build a renewable and regenerative economy.

Nearly 170,000 took to the streets, "that's an entire 3.5 per cent of New Zealand's entire population," the Kiwi organisers tweeted.

According to research by Harvard University political scientist Erica Chenoweth it takes around 3.5 per cent of the population actively participating in the protests to ensure serious political change, the BBC reported.

National co-ordinator Sophie Handford, 18, said School Strike 4 Climate had only been in New Zealand for seven months. The New Zealand events were held a week after the main global strike to avoid clashing with students' exams.

Thousands of protesters walk down Lambton Quay during a strike to raise climate change awareness in Wellington. Photo / Getty Images
Thousands of protesters walk down Lambton Quay during a strike to raise climate change awareness in Wellington. Photo / Getty Images

"Greta Thunberg ... says 'we only have time to speak clearly and everyone at the moment needs to be speaking clearly about the impacts of climate change'. I think the way that she's able to put these world leaders in their place and almost make them feel guilty for what they're doing and the destruction of what will be our future is incredibly powerful."

Another organiser, Luke Wijohnand, said: "There's such a difference between what we see happening in our political area and what is coming out from these scientists. It's like they don't even read the stuff."