The Auckland Pride Society last year objected to police wearing uniform for its parade in Ponsonby. Sponsors started pulling out and the event was eventually cancelled and replaced with a smaller march in the CBD.
A new LGBTIQ society, Rainbow Pride, was created to return a pride parade - which it will do in Ponsonby - and it will also branch out to Auckland downtown marina.
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From February 17 to 23, the new group's PRIDE WEEK will fill Viaduct Harbour with an animated light show illuminating the sea wall, rainbow banners and installations will be scattered along the promenade, and various performers and drag queens will roam the waterfront and hospitality venues.
Rainbow Pride chair Matt Bagshaw said it would be great to have a separate non-parade Viaduct event where "it's a fantastic place to carry on the party".
"The fundamental reason Rainbow Pride was set up, was the desire from a group of people to bring a parade back to Auckland," Bagshaw said. "But, actually, we're focused on producing as many events as we can that are supportive to the community and Auckland.
"In previous years, the feedback from the Pride parades in Auckland has been it's ended - and while Ponsonby is a great space - some people felt a bit flat. Where can we continue?"
The group's uniformed police-friendly parade will return to Ponsonby Rd on February 29 but it will be smaller scale this year with walking only and no floats.
"We wouldn't dictate to the police, Defence Force, or any other public sector organisation on what they can and can't wear. We're not interested in doing that," Bagshaw said.
While Auckland Council is not directly funding the marina event, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) introduced Rainbow Pride to the marina's private landowners - Viaduct Harbour Holdings.
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ATEED's general manager of destination Steve Armitage confirmed they connected the two parties, and issued council's support of the event.
"We wish the event organisers all the best and we hope that locals and visitors enjoy the festivities," Armitage said.
ATEED had previously withdrawn $50,000 of funding they had allocated to Rainbow Pride to facilitate a parade through Auckland CBD because the organisers have been unable to find a route that would allow them to deliver an event of the scale they'd originally proposed. "The revised scale of the event means it no longer meets the criteria for funding," Armitage said.
The CBD street parade was scrapped due to the scale of roadworks.
The Auckland Pride society will continue to oversee the largest ever February Pride festival in the city's history.
In place of their traditional parade, Auckland Pride will, for the second year, host OurMarch from Albert Park through Auckland CBD on February 8.
The OurMarch has been allocated $25,000 from Auckland Council's Regional Event Fund.
Auckland Pride director Max Tweedie said they have been working with Auckland Council and Auckland Central Police to close the city roads for OurMarch.
"We're working with the police's event operations team to ensure our health and safety obligations are met in line with the duty of care we have to our participants," Tweedie said.
"More broadly there has been no change mandated by community with regards to our position on their [police's] participation in OurMarch."
Another major component of the Viaduct Harbour PRIDE WEEK, is the involvement of Queenstown Rainbow group - Pride Pledge.
Pride Pledge founder Martin King said the initiative aims to expand visible signs of Rainbow community inclusion within businesses and the community - outside of the few weeks of Pride festival each year.
By taking the Pride Pledge, organisations will obtain digital assets for their website and email, plus stickers for their door and a certificate they can display next to their food safety standards or liquor licence.
"That shows they are a safe space. We run regular training for our Pride Pledge businesses to help them understand what a safe space looks like and help them understand the issues that are faced by the Rainbow community," King said.
"For example same sex couples showing affection in public is one thing they fear the most. So we teach businesses how to potentially deal with security if there was a homophobic situation in their bar.
"Also, the Viaduct's a massive tourist area so you just don't know."
Viaduct Harbour Holdings will be conducting a series of workshops between Pride Pledge and their hospitality businesses prior to February 17.
"We've been connecting hospitality tenants directly with Pride Pledge, who have informed us the uptake from tenants has been extremely positive" Viaduct Harbour Holdings marketing manager Samantha Saxton-Beer said.
"Our goal is to have 100 per cent of the central hospitality tenants on board with Pride Pledge by the time we celebrate Pride Week at Viaduct Harbour.
"From visitors to hospitality employees, we want everyone to feel like they belong here at Viaduct Harbour, no matter which letter of the rainbow alphabet they identify with."
An animated rainbow light show designed by Angus Muir will illuminate the marina sea wall every half hour from 7 to 11pm throughout the week.