The proposal is seen as a way to help secure an LGBTI space just off K road, which has become increasingly gentrified.
Body Positive CEO Mark Fisher is among those now calling for the establishment of an Auckland Pride Centre just as a way to ensure a space in an area which has holds historical significance for Auckland’s LGBTI community.
The concept for the Pride Centre would be a space for LGBTI advocacy groups, a café, a sexual health clinic, counselling rooms, a library, exhibition spaces, and meeting rooms.
Fisher, who is also a member of the Rainbow Advisory Council says the ideal site for a Pride Centre would be above the planned City Rail Link train station on Mercury Lane.
The council plans to sell the space above the station to developers for apartments, and he hopes a developer will be open to accommodate a hub.
Fisher says the need for a pride centre has been growing as K Road has become more gentrified.
Speaking to the NZ Herald, Fisher says K Road is becoming increasingly unaffordable and has had a negative impact on the city’s LGBTI community.
“The problem is it’s getting more expensive, so people are being forced out, Bars are closing. There’s only really Family Bar now – that’s the only place that’s left.”
“K Rd has been gentrified and the whole rainbow piece is disappearing from it,” Fisher says.
“You only really see the rainbow community during February, during pride, and the rest of the year it disappears and there’s no space for us or identity for us in the city.”
The K Rd Business Association is also backing the proposal for a Pride Centre.
A Pride Centre in Auckland was first floated in 2007. A feasibility study was completed by Auckland City Council but was forgotten with the creation of the super city in 2010.
Mark Fisher says that while LGBTI culture becoming more accepted and mainstream, there was still a need for dedicated space.
“You can go anywhere and you’re accepted,” Fisher says.
“But the problem is if you’re new to the city, where do you go to meet people?
“Most people go online and to apps. As a young person that’s a bit of a problem, because the apps are actually for hookups. So where do you actually go to meet other people in a social kind of environment?
“That’s what the community centre would provide.”