Title: Hands across the Council Chamber Credit: Chris Banks Features Tuesday 17th May 2005 - 12:00pm1116288000 Article: 732 Rights
Most of New Zealand's major cities have embraced their glbt communities and citizens with warmth and enthusiasm for years, if not decades. Except Auckland. But after years of bigotry, the new love'n'hugs model Auckland City Council is reaching out to the glbt community for partnership, dialogue, integration and acceptance. Opponents of the new love'n'hugs model Auckland City Council will no doubt find amusement in the fact that one of its new initiatives reaching out to community groups has the initials “PC”, but Auckland City's Partnerships Committee is about building bridges, not complaining about them. Councillor John Hinchcliff, who chairs the committee, says the aim is to meet with groups who have in the past found it difficult to engage with the community and with the council. To that end, the GLBT community has been welcomed into council chambers, after years in the Citizens   
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