Wellington Pride parade returns in 2020 with a new time and a promise that the event will remain inclusive.
The 2020 Wellington International Pride Parade (WIPP) hits the streets at 6pm on Saturday 7 March, this year themed “WATER; Dive into your Pride, TE WAI; Tō Mana. Whakarukuhia!”
WIPP Board Co-Chair Richard Tait said, “following the 2019 event which was themed around fire, we’ve gone Te Wai as a fun way to encourage participants and onlookers to dive into their pride”.
Tait says he was very pleased with the attendance of the 2019 event despite the parade being postponed in the wake of the Christchurch terror attacks.
“All in all, around 20,000 people either took part or came to be part of the fun despite the cooler weather and tragic circumstances leading to the postponement,” he tells express.
The 2019 event was scheduled for 16 March but was delayed until May following the tragic events in Christchurch on 15 March. “We wanted to be respectful and we were also mindful of public safety”, said Tait.
“In a way, that was how many Wellingtonians stepped out and said they would not be cowed by hate”.
It is expected that around 2,000 people will again walk, dance and parade their way through the capital’s entertainment district along Courtenay Place to the waterfront. And, with registrations still open, WIPP looks set to attract around 41 registered participants again.
WIPP Board Co-Chair and founder Amanduh La says, “the Board has committed to a long-term view for WIPP, we want to see this grow from its humble beginnings to becoming one of New Zealand’s premier street festivals. To do that, we have strengthened our organisation, our membership and agreed our vision and values. Key among them is our focus on inclusion. I’m very proud of this quite unique board and the work it’s done to develop a long-term plan.”
“We acknowledge those before us who have been through challenges to give the generations after them more freedom, opportunity and the right to express their pride. We know there are myriad views in our communities but the Board is determined to be inclusive, politically neutral and supportive of and by our Rainbow communities.” La says.
La confirms they will not be stopping NZ police or defence forces from participating in uniform.
“We know the inclusion of a Light Armoured Vehicle by the Defence Force was challenging for some while not for others and a source of amusement to others still. We have worked with Defence so we can take that feedback and adapt their approach for this year if they wish to take part. We will not dictate what friends and family can and cannot do, but we will take a cooperative approach to work alongside.”
Amanduh says, “it’s important to remember that while some organisations, including rainbow community groups, have vastly different views or experiences to each other, we are all there for one reason, to celebrate each other.”