Northland's rainbow community is on track to take up an organisational role to add a "much-needed" queer safe space to Whangārei's map.
And Whangārei PROUD co-founder Han Mā's vision is a big Rainbow building in the middle of town.
This comes at a time when the team has also secured funding from Whangārei District Council for the district's first-ever Pride Festival.
The festival, originally planned for March this year, had to be postponed due to the Omicron wave.
However, the organisers have established a colourful month in Whangārei's calendar and the celebrations will now happen in March next year.
When the conversation began for Whangārei Pride Festival late last year, Mā said the members of the rainbow group realised they weren't a legal entity but just a few queer people trying to support each other.
That led to the formation of a committee with the support of 155 Community Law and 11 of the 25 people who turned up at the announcement meeting wanted to be part of the board.
However, the community was concerned about no policies and procedures to protect the trust and board members, said Mā.
"None of us had any governance training either.
"A lot of our community want to volunteer, but they don't know how."
Mā said through a Givealittle page and community funding, they would be able to up-skill volunteers through the Community Networks Aotearoa's 10-module governance course.
"Having the governance group set up allows us to be a formal community and a legal entity and therefore we can apply for funding and start employing people."
Mā said Whangārei lacked queer safe spaces.
"There are pockets here and there, but none that have had all the staff do training and actually be a space that is completely safe.
"If we were to have a big rainbow building in the middle of town, where there would be stuff to do, office space, counselling rooms, and also a GP and nurse, it would be beneficial for the queer youth," Mā said.
"Every single one of us wants connection and belonging."
Mā said there was very little help available for the queer community in Northland and the governance role would help fix it.
"Homelessness, especially with our youth, is a big problem.
"They either don't feel safe coming out or they do and they are not safe, and they need to leave. This is a very quick pathway to prostitution, especially for our youth in cities."
The charity organisation was about supporting the community and celebrating the queer, said Mā.
"Pride is not just about showing where we are in pain, it is actually whakanuia - a celebration.
"It will be a place for people to connect, but also to plan events and gatherings."
The group has planned a community hui on Tuesday from 6.30pm at the Quarry Arts Centre to reignite the conversation around the Pride Festival and to discuss the parameters of the new charity organisational hat, they will be wearing soon.
Anyone keen to be involved in any way, big or small, was invited, said Mā.