Out & About: Ponsonby Rainbow Parade


An estimated 15,000 turned out for the Rainbow Parade and Ponsonby Street Festival on Saturday 27 March.

Organisers, Rainbow Pride Auckland’s Chair Matt Bagshaw tells express it was ‘such a brilliant day.’

“Considering we had to postpone it twice because of Covid Alert Level changes I was expecting [it] to be smaller in participants and spectators. The energy levels were high, the organisations that took part got a fantastic response from the public. People delighted to once again see NZ Police who engaged with the crowds all the way along Ponsonby Road. Additionally, Countdown team members got loads of applause and cheering – clearly being thanked for all they have done during lockdowns. The shops and businesses along Ponsonby Road really got into the spirit this year also with a tremendous amount of rainbow colours all along the road sides.”


While some community organisations partook in the parade, others did not. OUTLine and Rainbow Youth who were both present at the Auckland Pride March, did not attend in an official capacity.

“In terms of who comes and who doesn’t within the community – I respect that these things can take up a lot of resources and effort. This year we had funding to supplement costs specifically for rainbow communities so it is a shame that some community groups miss the opportunity to leverage the benefits of raising awareness,” Bagshaw told express, concluding, “I certainly hope that they don’t allow some of the ridiculous politics to influence their decisions!”

Photos | Peter Jennings.