Wellington's pride parade is expected to be the biggest yet with Police and the Defence Force rolling out their top brass to march in it for the first time.
It follows division in the city of sails earlier this year after Auckland's Pride Board decided it would not let uniformed police officers march in its event, as some members of the rainbow community felt unsafe participating with a police presence at the event.
Organisations and businesses – which included Rainbow NZ, Westpac, Vodafone and the Ponsonby Business Association– pulled their support for the event.
But there's a different tone in Wellington as the city's Pride Festival kicks off today.
Chief of Defence Air Marshal Kevin Short and Police Commissioner Mike Bush will both march in the Wellington International Pride Parade for the first time.
Mayor Justin Lester said Wellington is a city that embraces its diversity.
"This is the biggest pride parade Wellington's ever seen. It's really significant to have such high level support from respected organisations like the New Zealand Police, we're also going to have Jacinda Ardern marching in our Pride Parade so it will be great to have the Prime Minister down here in Wellington leading from the front."
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Defence Force lifting its ban on open service.
Squadron Leader Stu Pearce of the Defence Force's OverWatch group said having the Chief of Defence marching with them sent a powerful message their leaders weren't just talking the talk but walking the walk.
"Among the colour and flamboyance of the parade will be proud, uniformed members of the NZDF's LGBT+ community walking shoulder to shoulder with their straight allies, led by the chief."
A flyover of the parade is also planned.
The city's Pride Parade was going from strength to strength, Wellington District Police Commander Chris Bensemann said.
He expected about 100 police staff to take part in the parade including the Police Commissioner, the New Zealand Police Pipe Band and a large contingent of dog handlers and their dogs.
"The parade provides a great opportunity for police to march regardless of their gender, identity or orientation and it demonstrates our commitment to our core values but also gives the opportunity for us to participate with our friends colleague and whanau in the community."
The parade will start at the beginning of Courtenay Place and move along Taranaki St to finish at the waterfront.
Wellington International Pride Parade co-chair Richard Tait said Wellington was an inclusive city.
"We welcome everybody, we don't dictate what people wear."
Wellington will also host the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association conference- the first time it has been held in New Zealand.
The conference will be a historic one with ILGA celebrating its 40th anniversary, which is reflected in its theme 'celebrating the past to liberate the future'.