Speaking with express from New Caledonia, former Auckland Pride Co-Chair Lexie Matheson says that she leaves wishing the new board “every success.” 

Lexie Matheson has spoken to express about her time as a board member of Auckland Pride which has recently come to an end, praising the “extraordinary” Kirsten Sibbitt and the “the wonderful cultural changes brought to board operations by the incredible Teish Taikato” as key highlights from her time at the organisation.

Matheson also singles out the work of festival director Julian Cook saying “I’ve treasured my time working with Julian Cook and it’s essential that the board recognise and value him as its primary asset and guarantee of visionary success.”


Speaking on the importance of the festival and what she feels the festival strengths are, Matheson says she is proud of the festival’s emphasis on cultural safety and inclusion of Maori. “Pride is the world’s window on our communities and it’s important that we not only do it right but that we’re seen to do it right. It’s also critical that all governance is ethical and that cultural safety and honouring ti tiriti remain the centrepieces of everything the board does.”

The Auckland Council Rainbow Advisory member also says that special attention must be paid to ensuring a healthy governance structure remains in place at Auckland Pride. “Governance isn’t rocket science but it does, at times, require brutal honesty and respect.”

Matheson’s recent departure marks her second in four years, after originally leaving in 2014 before returning in time for 2017’s festival.

Matheson leaves telling express that “Pride is critical to the healthy functioning of our communities and must always reflect the best of who and what we are. I wish the new board every success in these important endeavours.”