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The Auckland Rainbow Parade delighted its 25,000 attendees with a colorful parade and fun party atmosphere. The parade’s organiser talks exclusively to YOUR EX.

“I’m SUPER PROUD of how the 2024 parade went. As a community we’ve come through Covid-19, dealing with the high cost of living, chronic housing shortages, and a mental health crisis just to name a few. I’m sure there will be more to come but we are still doing what we love – supporting our community and strengthening our support as a result!” Event Manager Shaughan Woodcock tells YOUR EX.

“There’s power in us coming together and with 2,500 participants and 25,000 supporters along Ponsonby Road – the love and community support was there for everyone to see and enjoy.  If we can help just one person feel better about themself, link them or their whanau to a support organisation, or show them there are corporates doing great mahi in the Diversity and Inclusion space, then it’s a job well done!”

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Among the messages of gratitude and congratulations, Shaughan Woodcock acknowledges there has been some criticism, which he takes on the chin

“Of course, there are always people who want a more ‘adult parade’, who publicly post that there are too many supportive corporates, too many people walking and flying their rainbow flags, and these views are respected, but how are you supporting our rainbow peers when we publicly criticise our own people and communities across social media?” he asks.

“The corporate entries in the parade are driven by our queer community within these organisations so let’s start by saying well done for stepping up and putting your brand in the public spotlight. Let’s focus on the brands and businesses who are happy to fly the rainbow flag, leverage all the opportunities but don’t offer any support to any rainbow event or organisation!”

“If our queer community is proud to walk alongside a corporate brand, then I say go the more the merrier!  This is the second motorised parade since 2020 and it will only get stronger!”

Most pertinently, Shaughan Woodcock points out that the reason events like the Auckland Rainbow Parade can happen is because of corporate sponsorship.

“Major events take a lot of money and it often surprises people when I tell them infrastructure costs alone for the parade are around $85K. That’s before we’ve even stepped foot on the street!”

“I personally want to thank my team of volunteers, our amazing sponsors, the Rainbow Pride Auckland Board and everyone who took part in the parade because, without you, the parade couldn’t happen so THANK YOU!”

Photos | Peter Jennings.

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