Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust withdraws support for Auckland Pride Parade after police uniform ban

Nicole Bremner
Source: 1News

The Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust is withdrawing its support for Auckland's Pride Parade in light of the decision not to allow police in uniform to march in next year's parade.

Chairperson Gresham Bradley told 1 NEWS the Trust Board unanimously voted last night to withdraw sponsorship of the Pride Parade but will support the Pride Festival.

Parade organisers have told police they can march in next year's parade, but not in uniform.

The move has proven devisive within the LGBTQI community, with one Auckland Pride board member stepping down in protest after the Auckland Pride Board said police did not meet the safety needs of rainbow communities.

Mr Bradley said recent controversy around the Parade has left it vulnerable to both the withdrawal of sponsorship and organisations which traditionally participate in the parade.

He has labelled the decision by Auckland Pride in banning police uniforms as "foolhardy, ill-considered and politically naïve".

However, Auckland Pride chair Cissy Rock told Morning Report today that the board wouldn't back down, saying, "we're not backtracking on our need to find a way forward and we just think there are so many ways that the police could participate in the parade and that's what we really want".

A statement released by the Auckland Pride Board this afternoon outlines that four Auckland Pride members have expressed a lack of confidence in the board and called for a special general meeting.

The Auckland Pride Board announced it will be pausing all work on the parade and festival until the meeting has taken place.

The Rainbow NZ Charitable Trust's support of $10,000 will exclusively be available to the Pride Festival which is a two week celebration of Auckland's rainbow communities. The Pride Parade on February 16 is part of the Festival.