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Youth group floats new Pride Centre proposal

Sat 7 Sep 2013 In: New Zealand Daily News

Rainbow Youth GM Duncan Matthews An Auckland gay community organisation is promoting bringing back a Pride Centre to provide a one stop shop location for services targeting glbti people in the city. In an interview published today on, Rainbow Youth's new General Manager, Duncan Matthews, says he is promoting the idea of bringing organisations such as Body Positive, the NZ AIDS Foundation, GenderBridge, OUTline and Rainbow Youth under one roof. He also hopes "mainstream" community services would have a presence at the centralised location. Matthews says he has already had preliminary discussions with OUTline and understands that OUTline has also been for some time strategising along the same lines. Auckland had a Pride Centre for some years after it was first established in downtown Wolfe Street in the early 1990s. On-going financial difficulties and a lack of broad-based community buy-in saw the Centre move to smaller, shared, premises on Ponsonby Road and then to Karangahape Road, where it was based in the same premises now occupied by Rainbow Youth. For a final three months it was nominally based in space provided by Auckland Gay and Lesbian Welfare - which later became OUTline - until it was wound up following a spectacular trial in which its then coordinator, Martin van der Reit, was found guilty of progressively stealing $35,000 from the organisation's bank account which led to the Centre's financial collapse. While the original Pride Centre was also envisaged as a one-stop shop for glbti community services and organisations this never substantially eventuated. A suggestion for a centralised location for Auckland Community groups was subsequently re-floated by then local body politician Bruce Kilmister, who is now general manager of Body Positive. Kilmister had hoped to convince the Auckland City Council to contribute low-rent premises to the concept but the idea did not get off the ground.    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Saturday, 7th September 2013 - 8:35am

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