Children and young adults gathered in Mount Maunganui’s new urban space Te Papa O Nga Manu Porotakataka on Friday to protest and raise awareness for climate change.
The protest, which is known as the ‘global climate strike’ was organised by 16-year-old Swedish climate activist, Greta Thunberg.
Passionate Tauranga students were well equipped for the protest sporting signs and clothing with climate change messages.
Organiser and mother Coral Dixon says it is important for the younger generation to get involved and to become educated around climate change.
“The protest is essentially a show of support towards climate change, towards trying to protect the planet and be against pollution.”
As the youth protests take place all over the country and all over the world, the coalition government are in their final stages of working on the climate change legislation in the hope of New Zealand being carbon zero by 2050.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the legislation is ground-breaking.
"No New Zealand Government has ever had to pass a law that over a 30 year timeframe seeks to stop climate pollution entering the atmosphere.
“It’s technical and difficult legislation we are working hard to finalise. Once we lock down the remaining details we will be in a position to announce the timeframe for the Bill’s introduction. I’m very keen to see it finalised and completed by the end of this year.
“We want to try and reach a consensus so that the legislation is lasting. It needs to endure for 30 years, not just the next three.
“In the meantime, we’ve set up an interim climate commission so we don’t waste time starting work on issues like how we meet our goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2035.
Jacinda says she is pleased the younger generation are getting involved in raising awareness for climate change.
“I want to acknowledge today’s youth Climate Strike. I have said that climate change is my generation’s nuclear free moment- for them it’s literally their future. My message is simple, we hear you and we’re getting on with setting a path for carbon neutrality. Please keep bringing as many people as you can with you, because we simply won’t achieve our goals alone.”