Pride campaigner asks police to be authentic and make rainbow police car permanent

  • 09/02/2018
Pride campaigner asks police to be authentic and make rainbow police car permanent
Photo credit: Supplied/ NZ Police

A prominent pride campaigner has criticised the NZ Police decision to apply rainbow livery to a police car for only a few weeks.

Police unveiled the rainbow themed car on Thursday, at the time calling it a visible representation of the value of diversity.

"As an organisation we look to encourage staff to 'use who they are' not 'lose who they are' when becoming a police officer," said Commissioner Mike Bush.

"Therefore it's important to encourage staff to show pride in the communities they represent."

However Auckland Pride Co-Chair Lexie Matheson believes it's a only a PR stunt.

She told Newshub she had the utmost respect for the police and was very appreciative of their involvement in pride.

"The police's involvement with pride has been fantastic  - the past few years and will be great again this year," she said.

However she said people are queer 52 weeks of the year and not only the two the livery will be on display.

Ms Matheson says in her personal view it's simply a PR stunt for pride and she would love to see the police car keep the rainbow decoration permanently.

She thinks that she's not alone in her feelings about the car and she's sure there would be some people in the police who also want to keep the decoration and would proudly drive the car on patrol.

On social media reactions to the car were mixed, some users saying they thought the livery was disingenuous.

"Hey why don't you spend that money on training your agents to handle trans and gay people?" wrote one user.

"Its lowkey kinda insensitive," another said.

The car will be accompanying police to the Auckland Pride Parade on February 17 but will return to standard livery after the Auckland and Wellington parades.