Auckland Pride Parade fills the streets

Celebrations filled the streets on Saturday night as more than 3500 people marched in the 2018 Auckland Pride Parade.

Tens of thousands of onlookers formed a crowd lining Ponsonby Rd.

The parade began when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern cut the final rainbow ribbon, becoming the first Prime Minister to walk in the parade.

Audiences watched as a sequence of rainbow floats made their way down the road, many sponsored by organisations such as Air New Zealand and New Zealand Rugby.

One couple was married aboard a float in front of the cheering crowds. 

The theme of this year's parade was peace, love and unity - designed to counter attacks on the rights of LGBTIQ+ people.

Organisers said Donald Trump's America was winding back the rights of sexual and gender minorities, Chechnya was conducting a vicious programme of murder, and repression and the same-sex marriage debate in Australia was ugly.

The parade's success comes after the cancellation of Pride Week's other flagship event, Big Gay Out, due to severe wet weather.