Auckland Pride is in turmoil as more parade participants withdraw from the festival’s flagship event.
Chairperson Gresham Bradley told 1 NEWS last night that the Rainbow NZ Charitable Trust (RNZCT) unanimously voted last night to withdraw sponsorship of the Pride Parade but will support the Pride Festival. Bradley labelled the decision by Auckland Pride in banning police uniforms as, “foolhardy, ill-considered and politically naive.”
Speaking on the matter in a press release, Bradley added that: The Trustees consider Pride’s decision to refuse the NZ Police the right to march in uniform to be contrary to the Trust’s key purpose which is to “maintain a fund available to build strength through diversity within the LGBTQI+ community in New
Bradley added that while RNZCT has provided funding to support not-for-profit groups entering the Auckland Pride Parade in past years, the Trustees have determined that they cannot support the decision of the Auckland Pride Board which appears to be driven by a small and vociferous minority in the community, and is contrary to the wishes of the vast majority of the Rainbow Community including those who have for many years fought hard for the rights we hold today in New Zealand.
RNZCT withdrawal follows the New Zealand Defense Force announcing they would not be participating in next year’s parade saying they were uncomfortable with the ban on uniformed police participating.
Following Sunday night’s hui, board member Verity George has also left the Pride board. Taking to Facebook, George said, “It is with a heavy heart that I announce tonight that I have resigned from my position as an Auckland Pride Festival Board member due to irreconcilable differences.”
Pride is yet to announce the date for the Special General Meeting at which a vote of ‘no confidence’ in the current board will take place.