Four environmental protesters have breached security at New Zealand's parliament by scaling the roof and perching themselves on a ledge above the main entrance.

The Greenpeace protesters on Thursday hauled up solar panels and unfurled a banner to protest what they say is the government's lack of action in promoting renewal energy and dealing with climate change.

The protest began at dawn and continued throughout the morning. Police issued the four with trespass notices but authorities say they plan to allow the protesters to come down on their own. The breach will come as an embarrassment to the parliament's security services.

Speaking from a cellphone, protester Johno Smith told The Associated Press that the four were experienced climbers and that they planned to come down Thursday afternoon.