Green Party co-leader James Shaw has voiced support for Kiwi students who plan to walk out of the classroom into strike action against climate change inaction, saying "they have every right to fight for their future".
Students of all ages plan to leave school on March 15 to urge politicians to take urgent action against climate change. However, the move has come under some criticism for being in school time.
"The whole point is they are putting themselves at risk," Mr Shaw told TVNZ1's Q+A last night.
"They’re trying to get the attention of the adults who have let them down over the course of the last 30 years... And the fact that you and I are devoting some time on this show to it suggests that actually, their strategy is perhaps working.
"I'll be 77 years old in the year 2050, but they will be in the middle of their careers. They'll have kids of their own. They'll be worried about the world that their kids are growing up in. I think that they have every right to fight for their future."
When asked by host Corin Dann about if he thought there was any issue for a Government Minister "condoning kids bunking school", Mr Shaw said he had "no problem with kids fighting for their future and trying to get the attention of the adults who have let them down over the course of the last three decades".
Thousands of students are expected to skip school in New Zealand, after School Strike for Climate marches gathered momentum around the globe. Swedish 15-year-old Greta Thurnberg protested alone outside her country's Parliament about climate change commitments, inspiring others to strike against climate change inaction.
The protests have also gained backing from Māori Climate Commissioner Donna Awatere-Huata, who told Radio New Zealand she had no issue with the strikes.