There were a few confused looks from members of the public as a group of young Wellingtonians "paddling" through the city in a cardboard "kayak bus" this morning.
The group kayaked their way into the Wellington City Council building to urge Mayor Justin Lester to stop the destruction of the trolley bus network.
The Greater Wellington Regional Council voted in 2014 to turn off trolleys, which would cost $54 million to maintain.
The buses, which have been a popular feature on the capital's streets for more than 60 years, had their power switched off several weeks ago after the Government was unable to step in and provide the money needed to keep them going.
The buses will be refitted with electric batteries but this is expected to take some time, as the technology is still being developed. In the meantime they are being replaced with diesel buses.
"We think that the current direction of Wellington Transport is just really crazy," said Kate Day, a spokeswoman for Wellingtonians for Non-Ridiculous Transport.
"Wellington people don't want more carbon pollution locked in, we don't want poorer air quality as a result of diesel buses, so we're asking [Lester] as mayor, and as the council has control over the wire network, we're asking him to push pause on the wires coming down, at least until Get Welly Moving has a clear plan."
The small group had pulled together a cardboard kayak painted in Go Wellington colours as part of their demonstration.
"We've chosen to make it a kayak because we want to ask the question: do we have to wait until sea levels rise before we get zero-carbon transport in Wellington?
"We don't think we should. We think we should be moving in that direction now."
Day said the decision to scrap the trolleys was "irresponsible and unhealthy".
"The facade of a few battery buses won't hide this fact. "
Day said the decision "flies in the face of New Zealand's commitments under the Paris Accord, and would hinder the city's compliance with any new Zero Carbon Act.
"It is also unhealthy; pumping more diesel fumes on to our streets, including into air vents that condition our office buildings."
They were also asking Lester to speak again to Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Greater Wellington chairman Chris Laidlaw "to find a way to move towards an electric public transport fleet in Wellington".
"Minister Twyford's past decision not to save the trolleys was made on one of the first days he was in office. Now that he has had time to consider the Government's transport and climate action vision, no doubt he will now understand the need to support electric transport in Wellington," Day said.
The protest comes as consultation begins on the Get Welly Moving Plan outlining transport options for the city.
"If Mayor Lester will not delay destruction of the trolley wires, then the Get Welly Moving consultation is tokenism. What if Wellington residents ask overwhelmingly for better low-carbon options? Mayor Lester owes it to Wellington people to preserve the infrastructure that would make this possible."
The group is also calling on Wellington residents to use the Get Welly Moving consultation to call for low-carbon transport options for Wellington.