Police have arrested 19 people after a train carrying coal through Christchurch to Lyttelton Port was blocked by protestors sitting on the train tracks.
About 100 Extinction Rebellion members turned out with signs or placed themselves on the tracks in protest at the country's coal use.
Nineteen of the members were charged trespass as a result.
The group says the country is in the middle of a climate emergency and the use of our dirtiest fossil fuel has to stop.
Many have taken the day off work to join in the protest.
The organisation said that further protests against coal use are planned.
Spokesperson Siana Fitzjohn said "we're in the middle of a climate emergency".
"Coal is the dirtiest fossil fuel—it cannot have a future in Aotearoa.
“Today we showed how many people are ready to rebel against coal. We have put coal companies and users in Ōtautahi on notice. This is the start of our rebellion, and this action is the first of many,” says Ms Fitzjohn.