Acting PM Winston Peters says children better off in school than marching in Friday's climate change protests
Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters said young people can learn all they need to know about climate change by "seeing what the Government is doing". Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters wants children who are thinking about participating in climate change marches on Friday to stay in school. He said young people can learn all they need to know about climate change by "seeing what the Government is doing". Thousands of people, including many school children, are expected to march on Friday to demand more climate change action. Marches are expected in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch as well as other cities across the country. The global marches began last Friday, where tens of thousands of people took to the streets in cities including Paris, New York and London. This coincides with the UN Climate Summit, where world leaders are discussing how to keep temperature rises within 2C this century. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern delivered the keynote speech and told leaders: "now is the time for optimism and for hope and, crucially, a plan". Back in New Zealand, Peters talked up the Government's policies which aim to fight and mitigate the effects of climate change. But he told RNZ he did not support the school climate strikes. "I support people going to school and getting the greatest education they can, as fast as they can to lift our educational standards because it's one of the critical components of lifting massively this country's productivity," he said. "Not being at school and not being taught lessons is not what young people should be doing." He added that this Government was the first to commit to fighting climate change as well as ensuring that policy makers "take the farming community with us". Meanwhile, in the US, Ardern has just finished a meeting with US President Donald Trump where he expressed interest in New Zealand's gun buyback programme. "It was a conversation around our buyback and obviously the work that we had done to remove military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles and so we had a conversation around what had happened in New Zealand and how it worked." The meeting was a pull-aside at the UN, rather than a formal bilateral meeting. Peters told Newstalk ZB that he didn't expect New Zealand to get a formal bilateral meeting. "When was the last time we got a White House dinner?" He told The AM Show that Ardern had time to make a "serious impression" on Trump in the time she does have with the US President. This includes raising issues to do with the Pacific and pushing for a free trade agreement with the US. The Labour party has released its Rainbow Manifesto.