Rainbow Pride Auckland Inc (RPA) was started with the priority of returning a Pride Parade to Auckland. In an exclusive interview, Guardianship Member James Laverty tells express they hope to bring the parade to Auckland’s ‘heart’ in 2020.
What do you think the rainbow community missed out on this year by not having a parade?
The Pride Parade is an important part of our community because it brings young and old together. It keeps us together as a community and we get to showcase ourselves and our talents to the country and the world. It should be a time where we speak out about many of the injustices that still exist for the LGBTIQ+ communities.
The majority of the LGBTIQ+ communities were saddened by the loss of the 2019 Pride Parade.
Do RPA solely plan to produce a parade or are you looking to put on a whole Pride festival?
With the support of Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) and community and corporate sponsorship, we hope to deliver both. Our objective is to work with LGBTIQ+ groups with a focus on supporting our communities. We want the Pride Parade to be on a bigger scale and put it on the world map. We intend asking many groups to join us because we think it’s time for all of NZ to be involved. We want to ensure that the Pride Parade is an annual event, no matter how things change around us.
What sort of relationship (if any) do you foresee Rainbow Pride Auckland and Auckland Pride having moving forward?
It is very clear there is room for both Rainbow Pride Auckland and Auckland Pride. Our communities have felt a great deal of pain and it is time to work together. We want to ensure that we both can do well from the events we put on. RPA is open to working with anyone who have their communities at heart.
How confident are you that RPA can produce a parade in 2020?
With the support of ATEED, Community and Corporate sponsorship we hope to deliver both a Parade and Festival [in 2020].
Is Ponsonby Rd still the location you are looking at?
RPA believes that it is time for a change. We believe it is time to bring the Pride Parade to the heart of the city!
Where do you stand on having the likes of uniformed Police, Corrections officers and branded corporate participation in the parade?
We welcome everyone. Our objective is to have a Pride Parade which is inclusive.
How does including those groups benefit our rainbow community?
Our allies have LGBTIQ+ members and we encourage our allies to support those members. On that basis RPA believes we all need to work together and by doing this we are able to make positive change. If changes are needed within some of our allies [work places] we will talk with them and set achievable goals. This way we hold our allies accountable.
What made you settle on the name Rainbow Pride Auckland? Several people have asked, ‘why didn’t they call themselves Hero’?
The majority of members believed that the name was is in keeping with other community group names. It just evolved.
RPA has a tiered structure with a Board, Advisory Panel and Guardianship – what are the benefits of a structure like this?
The Advisory Panel members work with the community. They put forward information to the board and support the board on the delivery of a parade and festival. The Advisory and Board members will change every three years, to ensure we keep it fresh. The Board will work on the agenda set out each year to deliver on a Parade, Festival and any other events.
The Guardianship members ensure the Board and Advisory members keep in line with the constitution. Guardianship seats do not change; they are for life or until one of the members steps down. The Guardianship members decide on who will replace another Guardianship member.
I’m very proud of the team we have which shows diversity and inclusion within our community.
For more information visit: rainbowprideauckland.org.nz