Despite 30 arrests, police praise climate protests that disrupted Wellington as 'largely peaceful'

About 30 Extinction Rebellion protestors were arrested late this afternoon after a day of civil disobedience in central Wellington.

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Extinction Rebellion members have been blocking roads and businesses since early this morning. Source: 1 NEWS

Police say the arrests were made without incident and all were released without charge. 

A spokesperson says police were pleased in general with the behaviour of protestors in the city. 

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

Police also thanked the public for their patience. 

Extinction Rebellion protestors. Source: 1 NEWS

Protestors were taken away by police, after blocking off Lambton Quay.

Extinction Rebellion protestors. Source: 1 NEWS

Demonstrators linked arms in a circle on Lambton Quay outside Parliament, through the main bus thoroughfare. Police broke up the circle, taking people to police vans. 

As of 6pm all the "rebels" blocking traffic had been removed, Extinction Rebellion said in a statement.

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The group are wanting to cause “civil disobedience against climate and ecological breakdown”. Source: 1 NEWS

The group, pledging to cause "civil disobedience against climate and ecological breakdown", saw Stout Street - where the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is located - closed this morning. 

Two hundred to 300 of the climate change protestors congregated there from 7am today. 

About 100 people were still there at 4pm today, as they began to head down Lambton Quay. 

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The protestors are trying to raise awareness about and force action on climate change. Source: Breakfast

Earlier today, the protestors occupied the Lambton Quay branch of the ANZ bank in Wellington, with five of the protestors, including a 15-year-old, glueing themselves to a glass wall inside the bank.

When asked about the protest, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said blocking civil servants off from their work would not take climate action "any further". 

"I’m never going to be opposed to someone being able to express their opinion and express their voices. But blocking people from going to do their day-to-day job doesn’t necessarily bring us any closer to the climate action they’re calling for.

"NZ is a place where people are free to protest. We would always say we want to make sure that protest action is legal, safe and non violent."

Extinction Rebellion protestors with hands glued to window of ANZ bank branch on Lambton Quay, Wellington. Source: 1 NEWS