A collection of activist groups converged in central Nelson to "awaken" residents about big issues.
The first Awake and Aware Nelson Infofest in Trafalgar St on Saturday covered issues including fluoride, smart meters, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, climate change, chemtrails, medical cannabis and vaccines.
Organiser Jenese James said the event was to bring local protest and activist groups into one space and speak to the public about their causes.
It was the first time the event was held in Nelson, and she was considering making it a monthly event. The causes were grassroots but were part of a global movement, she said.
She wanted to ensure "the people of Nelson know what goes on in their community."
The infofest was a chance to meet "like-minded" people and talk face-to-face, she said.
Voice Nelson was at the event, with member Teresa O'Connor manning a stall.
While there were not many people visiting the stalls on Saturday, O'Connor said every conversation they had with members of the public would help.
It was a "passionate" and "fabulous collection of people" running the stalls.
"They are prepared to go out on a limb and go slightly outside of the mainstream. All great social movements started that way."
Medicinal cannabis campaigner Billy McKee had also set up at the square.
He had been protesting outside the Nelson Courthouse last week, and planned to continue to do so through the year.
He wanted to see medical cannabis allowed in New Zealand and was open about his own use of it.
He was inspired to keep protesting after the death of Nelson teenager Alex Renton, who suffered from mystery seizures and died in Wellington Hospital last month.
His family had campaigned to have him treated with medicinal cannabis oil, and were granted permission by Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne.
McKee lived in Wellington but moved down to Nelson to attend Alex's memorial service last month, and decided to stay.
So far he had "really good support" for his cause.
He wanted people to be able to grow their own medical cannabis and get specific seeds for different ailments.
He believed everyone who used cannabis long-term did so to self-medicate for medical issues, including stress.