University of Otago student Lindsey Horne (21) said, although they missed the brunt of the tornado in Auckland on Thursday, they had cycled through knee-deep puddles to make the Power Shift New Zealand-Pacific 2012 in Auckland.
The speakers at the summit yesterday included Greenpeace spokeswoman Lucy Lawless and Kiribati resident Claire Anterea, who talked about how rising sea levels could make her a refugee from the atoll island, Miss Horne said.
The speakers today included journalist Naomi Klein, the author of the New York Times bestseller No Logo.
The initial pack of Dunedin students who cycled from the Octagon on November 16 comprised Miss Horne, Letisha Nicholas (22), Mike Fried (22), Leander Schulz (22) and Sophie Dobson (21), but the group expanded to a dozen riders as cyclists joined them on their 1300km journey to the summit.
The event was being attended by more than 700 young people, including about 40 participants from the Pacific Islands, making it the biggest youth climate summit held in New Zealand, Miss Horne said.
''The tornado hasn't stopped many people.''
The cyclists represented the desire of young New Zealanders for low-carbon transport solutions in New Zealand, Miss Horne said.
''It would be irresponsible to ignore the abundance of opportunities to move beyond fossil fuels. Having cycled for 25 days through New Zealand's beautiful landscape, we can see how much there is to lose if climate change isn't addressed.''
The three-day summit finishes tomorrow.