Tens of thousands people have packed onto Ponsonby Rd to watch the Pride Parade.
The annual event, that celebrates New Zealand's Rainbow communities (LGBTQIA), kicked off at 7.30pm.
AS IT HAPPENED
7pm: Thousands of people walking in tonight's Pride Parade - as well as spectators - are milling around the top of Ponsonby Road half an hour before the event kicks off.
Balloons and bubbles are being set into the air as the excitement builds.
7.15pm: Friends and Selwyn College Year 13 students Kaitlyn, Kate, Pia, Lucy, Ruby, Isaac are attending the parade to cheer on some of their teachers who are walking in the parade and support their peers in the Rainbow community.
The group let out a cheer as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern walked past, yelling "we love you".
7.31pm: Jacinda Ardern has officially opened the parade.
8pm: Spectator Jan Hannah lives locally and has attended the event a few times as she likes to support the local community.
"It's fun. It's full of colour," she said.
8.15pm: Poodles in pink tutus and pugs with rainbow scarves tied around their collars illicited cheers from the crowd, but it was the airforce's brass band rendition of "The Saints Go Marching In" that got the loudest applause.
8.20pm: Residents of the apartments that line Ponsonby Road are leaning out their windows to get a better glimpse of the floats.
8.25pm: As the sun started to set, Kiwi singer Ladyhawke started her performance on the back of an Air New Zealand truck.
8.35pm: Chris and Rachel Breeden have come every year since they moved to Auckland.
They used to live in a hyper conservative town in Pennsylvania where protesters picketed any gay friendly events.
"I'm just so happy we can celebrate and there are no protesters here, nothing negative. It's amazing," Rachel said.
Chris said her best friend growing up who was gay was unable to be a teacher due to fear of being outed.
"Now there's a Rainbow Teachers float at the Pride Parade. It's awesome," Rachel added.
8.40pm: One of the most eye catching floats was the Rainbow Museum tow truck carrying a vintage blue mini adorned with fairy lights that lit up like rain.
8.50pm: Auckland Transport's pale blue 'party bus' with flashing disco lights was also a hit with spectators.
Drag queens dressed wearing pastel-coloured wigs, long dresses and angel wings lip-synced and wished attendees a "Happy Pride" from the all-white "Ending HIV" float.
A black 4WD pulled SkyCity's trailer, which was topped with a cardboard cutout of the Auckland city skyline and a replica Sky Tower. Beside the float walked a hula hooper clad in gold sequins.
8.55pm: Fletcher Building gave a humble cement truck a makeover.
Pieces of mirror had been stuck onto the barrel of the mixer so that it resembled a disco ball.
PM's Pride Parade first
Jacinda Ardern officially opened the parade by cutting the last of several rainbow ribbons.
She is also the first Prime Minister to walk in the event, marching alongside the Labour Party's red caravan.
In total about 3500 people - and more than 70 different groups - are taking part in the event and crowds of up to 25,000 spectators are expected tonight.
It will be a night to remember for couple Sinead O'Connell and Victoria Envy who will marry in front of spectators on celebrant group the Glitter Squad's float.
The theme this year is peace, love and unity and the event comes at a time of escalate global unrest and human rights breaches, organisers say.
A one-of-a-kind, rainbow-coloured police patrol car will make its debut, flanked by Police Commissioner Mike Bush. Police dogs, horses and motorbikes are also set to feature.
And, New Zealand Rugby has its own float for the first time.
Parade producer Shaughan Woodcock told the Weekend Herald it was "very exciting" to have a Prime Minister walking in the parade for the first time.
When asked what he thought Ardern's involvement would demonstrate, Woodcock said: "I think the overall message is that we are being led by a progressive government, a government that stands for all groups not just some.
"It also sends a very clear message outside of New Zealand that New Zealand is leading the way around basic human rights and human rights for our rainbow community, and that it is time for the other countries to step up."
Ardern earlier said she couldn't remember how many times she had walked in the parade before becoming Prime Minister but that it had been enough "to know I feel enormously proud that it's an annual event".
"The fact we live in a country where we shut down the streets to celebrate diversity, and that we can tell a generation of young people that they live in a place that is inclusive and supportive of who they are, is something I hope we keep doing. I know I will."