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Delight at approval of Auckland Pride

Wed 13 Jun 2012 In: New Zealand Daily News

File photo The return of a pride festival and parade to Auckland is expected to create a greater sense of ‘belonging’, particularly for younger queer people. Among those most excited about the announcement Auckland Pride will go ahead in February 2013 thanks to sponsorship from Auckland Council’s events and tourism body, have been those from the younger glbt generation, who caught the Hero Parade only in its death throes, if at all. Auckland-based glbti support group Rainbow Youth says it’s exciting to see a festival being supported by the Auckland City Council and highlighting the fantastic culture of our community in this city. “It is not just about youth having the experience of a parade,” says Executive Director Tom Hamilton. “It’s more important to have the space to celebrate being open and aware of who we are and how we contribute to the city of Auckland. This leads to a greater sense of belonging for everyone.” Hamilton says Rainbow Youth is aiming to ensure its volunteers and members feel involved and benefit from their inclusion in this festival. “It’s exciting that people will be visiting from overseas but I hope the trust also focus on the much needed awareness raising of how our community is faring in this fine city, offer an opportunity to show off, celebrate and reach out to those people who need some added support and have some fun focused on broadening our awareness and understanding of each other,” he says. “A big thanks to the crew who developed the application and Rainbow Youth are in full support of the concept.” Among the readers who have commented on the announcement the festival and parade will go ahead are Ash Gibson: “I came out and realised I was gay just as [the Hero Parade] finished, so this time I get to be a very good part of it and I want to be on a float.” Becca Lee is also excited, saying “My aunty directed the hero parade so I went when I was 11, at the time I didn't know what that would mean to me as an adult. Will be amazing to have the parade back and celebrate pride now that I have it and understand it!” Rivka Morley recalls growing up going to the Hero Parade, saying it was her favourite event of the year even as a very young child. “I was 12 during the last one and got to participate which was amazing but at the time I didn't realise how important pride would become for me and why it is so desperately needed,” she says. “I currently live in Sydney and it was amazing to see everyone pull together for Mardi Gras so let's see Auckland do the same!” James Laverty says it’s great news for the community, but he hopes the board is made up with a wide number of people from and not controlled by one or two, like other events “This is an event for the whole community and Auckland needs this,” he says. ‘Gregorious’ Bradbury-Reardon just hopes it doesn’t get “financially screwed up” like the Hero Parade. “If Wellington can host the AsiaPacific Outgames with positive attendance numbers and resounding international feedback whilst also being in a good financial position at the end of it then surely Auckland can pool its resources to create a successful parade?” “John Banks is gonna have 50 fits LOL,” finishes Mark Pointon. The Auckland Pride Festival Trust will operate as a governance body and is now recruiting a Festival Board of seven Trustees with experience in business management, event management, public relations, marketing, sponsorship, legal, financial management, and community relationships. The Trustees’ key role will be managing the various aspects of mounting a new Festival including the contracting for the services of a Festival Coordinator and a Parade Coordinator to deliver the 2013 event.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Wednesday, 13th June 2012 - 12:41pm

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