The exclusion of the Falun Gong from tomorrow's Santa Parade is no loss for the children of Auckland.
This supposedly peaceful but combative group of Chinese meditators has failed again to infiltrate the parade, this time blocked by the organisers and a wise judgment of the High Court.
Falun Gong want to march before one of the city's largest annual crowds for a reason. Justice Tony Randerson rightly identified that reason as their wanting to use the Santa Parade to protest over their treatment at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.
Falun Gong adherents have been regular protesters at the Chinese consulate in Auckland and have every right to protest legally elsewhere. But no reasonable person would believe their grievances need airing among the cartoon characters, marching bands, bagpipes and clowns of the Santa Parade.
The parade is for entertainment, not re-education, and prides itself on keeping a sunny, apolitical stance. Falun Gong would have no more connection to the Santa Parade than parading with the Kiwis rugby league team if it were to have a ticker tape welcome home down Queen St, or demanding space on stage at the Big Day Out.
Tomorrow is meant to be pure spectacle. The trust that runs the parade deserves praise for producing a throbbing blaze of noise and colour which for 75 years has pulled in families by the tens of thousands.
If ancient cultural groups with an agenda wish to enjoy such attention let them apply for a permit, publicise their parade and earn people's time and attention through their own performance and appeal.
Blustering now about continuing to fight for acceptance in the Santa Parade is unbecoming. The parade trust, parents and the children have a more important thing on their minds: seeing the big guy in red.