The Rotorua teachers' strike has been marred by an act of intimidation today.
While teachers were marching along their route, a car drove towards the crowd aggressively.
A police media spokeswoman told the Rotorua Daily Post a report of a vehicle displaying "aggressive behaviour" was made to police about 12.15pm, after the march had started.
But that didn't seem to dampen the spirit of the day with the march continuing.
Earlier, the crowd gathered at the Village Green and listened to speakers.
Signs surround the stage of the musical act, singing and playing an electric keyboard.
The crowd joined in, singing in unity, prams were among the young and old surrouding the stage.
The sun peaked through the dark clouds and a light breeze waved the flags.
The crowd was in silence as a karakia was said.
A waiata was sung accompained by the musical act.
A car did a burnout on the road and was cheered by the crowd.
Teachers from Ōpotiki, Whakatāne and Kawerau are among the Rotorua teachers striking.
"For some of us this is our third time striking, third time lucky," said an MC.
NZEI national representative Paeone Goonan said feeling the passion today was amazing.
"Listen to us now. Act now," Goonan said.
"Coming together today is a powerful way.
"Working 60 hours a week... they're burning out."
She said more strike action was needed if the issues were not listened to.
Western Heights High School's Glenn Cassidy said "we've done it" as he addressed the primary and secondary teachers.
He said the PPTA was proud of the primary teachers for their continued fighting for education.
"The education system is in crisis now and there's only us to fight," Cassidy said.
He said there was always money for a crisis and that crisis was now in education.
"We don't want the moon and all the stars, we want the education needs' of students heard."
NZEI Rotorua branch manager and Mamaku School teacher Joanne Collyer said it would be "at bridal pace. Were in it for the long haul".
"Stand up, fight back" was one of the chants. Collyer said the crowd needed to be seen and heard.
Drums, whistles and squeeky toys were among the loud cheering in the march.
Walking past the iSite along the busy street, tooting from the public became more frequent as the crowd marched towards the intersection.
People in stores came to their doors and waved the teachers on.
Ngongotahā School teacher Pam Rogers said the strike was necessary and had considered leaving because of how she had to weigh up family and work.
Teachers gathered on the high traffic corner of Fenton and Amohau Sts, chanting "2 4 6 8 teachers want to educate".
Te Kura O Te Paroa principal Erin Te Pou said teachers did not want to strike.
"We have no option because the negotiations aren't going anywhere.
She joined her staff who all came to Rotorua instead of Whakatāne to join the Māori branch of the NZEI.
Hae Hare is not a teacher but has come to support teachers.
"I just think they do a great job."
A member of the public is holding a speaker which is playing I Need a Dollar.
Former teacher Sharon Ward said she left three years ago because she chose family over the never ending workload.
She said it was not about the money and would be "back in a heartbeat" but today she marched for the job she loved but could no longer do.
Her 12-year-old daughter Rhiannon said "teachers deserve more".
"Without them we wouldnt be smart or do well," she said.
Graham Henton from Whakatāne Intermediate spoke to the crowd.
"The true contributors to our country," he said.
He said he wanted teaching to become a viable and valued profession.
"What could be more important than the future of our country?" he asked the crowd.
"We have to stand up... we have to take the bull by the horns," he said, saying how proud he was that collegues from primary and secondaryschools came together.
"It's not that the Government has no money...teachers just are not prioritised" he said.
The march's route began at the Village Green up the footpath on Fenton St, turned right on to Amohau St. They turned right again at Spotlight on to Ranolf St and finished at Kuirau Park.
At 8am today, Rotorua primary and secondary teachers lined the sidewalks at the Te Ngae Rd intersection and outside Rotorua Boys' High School.
Today is the largest, and first in history, combined primary and secondary teachers national strike and the third primary school strike in less than a year; the last two in November and August 2018.
About 81 per cent of Bay of Plenty schools are closed today which will affect 55,043 students.
Preparation for today has been extensive, from teachers putting money aside to save for the full day of no pay to creating signs and chants.
The strike has been looming and was confirmed through votes by members of the New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI) and Post-Primary Teachers' Association (PPTA) union members on May 13.
The NZEI are striking to double non-contact time to two hours a week, reduce class sizes, increase resource teachers and a special needs co-ordinator (Senco) in every school.
The PPTA wants an extra hour of non-classroom time lifting it to six hours a week and additional extra non-contact time for middle managers.
The Ministry of Education has offered both unions pay rises of 3 per cent a year for three years, plus an extra step at the top of salary scales that would take the total pay rise for a majority of teachers to 12.6 per cent over three years.
The Government's offer is a $1.2 billion deal over four years.
Members of the community are welcome to the events of the day but all children need to be supervised.