Rainbow Pride Auckland will push ahead with a walking parade in Ponsonby despite missing out on Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development (Ateed) funding.

The group announced that the Rainbow Pride Auckland Walking Parade will take place on Saturday, February 29 next year as part of the Ponsonby Street Festival.

"The event will provide a safe place for everyone to have a voice," the group's chairman, Matt Bagshaw, said.

"Our communities, both local and across Aotearoa, deserve to celebrate their pride, and the walking parade and street festival is the perfect occasion for this."


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Auckland Pride originated in 1991 with the first Hero Parade. At that time, HIV/Aids was claiming more than one death a week. It stopped in 2001 after a budgetary overspend and returned as Auckland Pride in 2013.

But a controversial call to ban police marching in uniform from the parade this year led to a fallout and the withdrawal of major sponsors including NZME, SkyCity, Westpac, BNZ and ANZ.

Ateed also withdrew its funding because it said the new parade format proposed by organisers did not meet requirements.

Last year, the LGBTQ community marched through the streets of Auckland CBD in place of a traditional parade, but Bagshaw said Ponsonby was regarded as the "home of parades" for the community.

Participants at the Pride Parade on Ponsonby Road in 2017. Photo / File
Participants at the Pride Parade on Ponsonby Road in 2017. Photo / File

Participants in the walking parade will march in their colourful best, and join the street festival after the walk.

Organisers are promising the event to be an "uplifting" one, with a carnival style atmosphere and where the LGBTQ community can feel safe to demonstrate diversity, inclusion, self-acceptance and pride.

Details of the parade will be released closer to the time.


Auckland Pride director Max Tweedie said Pride events such as Big Gay Out, Pride Gala and the central city march would go ahead as planned next year.

Ponsonby Business Association chairman Nigel Shanks said: "Celebrating others is a common feature in the long and colourful history of Ponsonby, and we are delighted we get to continue the tradition."