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Unveiling of the memorial seats for Chrissy Witoko and Carmen Rupe

Audio from the unveiling of the memorial seats for Chrissy Witoko and Carmen Rupe. The seats, located on the corner of Cuba and Vivian Streets, were installed and unveiled on 1 October 2022. A special thank you to the speakers for allowing this event to be recorded and shared.

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  • 0:00:01 - Waiata, Tīwhanawhana
  • 0:03:02 - Karakia/Whakatau - Richard Tankersley, Tīwhanawhana
  • 0:07:22 - Waiata, Tīwhanawhana
  • 0:10:19 - MC Malcolm Kennedy-Vaughan
  • 0:11:55 - Glenda Hughes
  • 0:14:30 - Sye Witoko (Sye performs two tributes on the sax)
  • 0:23:40 - Virginia Lum reads a message from Robin Waerea and Jurgen Hoffman (in Sydney)
  • 0:27:00 - Andy Foster, Mayor of Wellington
  • 0:36:05 - Jacquie Grant ONZM
  • 0:52:40 - Malcolm Kennedy-Vaughan
  • 0:53:40 - Grant Robertson, MP for Wellington Central
  • 0:59:37 - People move to the seats
  • 0:59:38 - Waiata Whakakapi, Tīwhanawhana
  • 1:03:08 - Unveiling/Blessing - Richard Tankersley, Tīwhanawhana
  • 1:06:02 - MC Malcolm Kennedy-Vaughan


The recording captures an event honoring the lives and contributions of two influential figures in New Zealand's LGBTQI+ community. Held at Scotty and Mal's Cocktail Bar in Wellington on October 1, 2022, the event commemorated Chrissy Witoko and Carmen Rupe through the installation of memorial seats at the corner of Cuba and Vivian Streets.

The event featured various speakers including Wellington Mayor Andy Foster, MP Grant Robertson, and individuals from the LGBTQI+ community who shared personal anecdotes and reflections on the significant roles both Witoko and Rupe played in the community. Stories were shared about their compassion, leadership, and the safe spaces they provided for many, highlighting their lasting impact on Wellington's LGBTQI+ history and the broader New Zealand society.

Chrissy Witoko, remembered for a caring nature and humility, was described as a social worker who looked after everyone regardless of background. Carmen Rupe, known for glamour and self-promotion, was a trailblazer who boldly challenged societal norms and was a staunch advocate for the LGBTQI+ community. The narrative illustrates their unique yet complementary roles in advocating for and supporting the communities, particularly the transgender community.

The speakers also discussed broader social issues and progress within the LGBTQI+ community, touching upon the evolving relationship with law enforcement, political representation, and societal acceptance. The event underlined the importance of remembering and celebrating the contributions of Witoko and Rupe, both considered pioneers and icons within the LGBTQI+ community.

This summary is created using Generative AI. Although it is based on the recording's transcription, it may contain errors or omissions. Click here to learn more about how this summary was created.

Record date:1st October 2022
Location:Scotty and Mal's Cocktail Bar, Wellington
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Archive:The master recording is archived at the Alexander Turnbull Library (OHDL-004684).