Anger has bubbled over in Christchurch as residents fight for what they believe are their democratic rights.
Around 1,000 people gathered last night, asking for a change in government plans for the running of ECan and in their proposals for the region's schools.
NZEI spokeswoman Sandra Spekreijse says the education announcement was a particular shock as it didn't have to be this way.
"It was a chance for the Government to put our kids first, isn't that what we're all about - our future. Guess what? They failed. You might even go to say they were well below national standards."
Canterbury University lecturer and protest organiser Bronwyn Hayward says there are some really good plans rolling out but others are too much and too big.
"For just ordinary families I think what's happened is that people just feel this isn't right, our kids are really under a lot of pressure."
Bronwyn Hayward says it's a very fragile community and is not like a normal situation.
Wider Communities Action Network's Reverend Mike Coleman says it's hitting the kids hard - and they've already been through a lot.
"They've weathered two years of thousands of quakes and some of these schools that they're closing are in the most affected areas and they are schools which form the heart of the community. They're the only thing that they have left really - even their homes have gone."
Mr Coleman warns the Government that they can't live in palaces and punish the poor.
Another protest will be held on Saturday at the Hagley Park Netball Courts from midday.
Photo: NZ Herald