Wellington's business resilience in times of disruption came in handy during a climate change protest on Monday.

Several hundred Extinction Rebellion protesters blockaded Stout St in the central city and caused disruption to traffic on nearby Lambton Quay and Whitmore St.

About 1800 Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) workers were forced to work from home, or another location, after some protesters glued themselves to the front doors of the building and blocked back entrances.

The government department was targeted to demonstrate against petroleum exploration permits that have been granted.

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Protesters block Lambton Quay during an Extinction Rebellion protest. Photo / Getty Images
Protesters block Lambton Quay during an Extinction Rebellion protest. Photo / Getty Images

About 30 people were arrested by police around 5.30pm, when they formed a circle at the Whitmore and Bowen St intersection near the Wellington Cenotaph.

Wellington Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Milford said they didn't have any members contact them directly to say they were impacted financially by the disruptions throughout the day.

He said some businesses in the hospitality sector near MBIE could have been affected, but they had not had any direct approaches to say that was the case.

"It was for one day - Wellington's used to disruptions when you look back over the last few months and years. We are a pretty resilient lot from a business perspective,

"If it had gone on longer than that then I think it could have been a problem."

Milford said past earthquakes and shocks meant most businesses that provided services in Wellington had put processes in place to allow employers to work remotely.

"From a productivity point of view, I imagine those MBIE workers worked and did all they were meant to do in work at home so that's obviously not a loss in productivity."

Extinction Rebellion protesters in central Wellington block an intersection. Photo / Georgina Campbell
Extinction Rebellion protesters in central Wellington block an intersection. Photo / Georgina Campbell

Meanwhile, Police defended their decision of no arrests until early evening during the protest.

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A Police spokesperson said police were "pleased in general" with the behaviour of protesters in the CBD.

"Police maintained a presence throughout the day to ensure the safety of everyone,

"While we acknowledge the disruption caused in the CBD at times, the protest was largely peaceful."

The arrests were made without incident and all were released without charge.