Wellington could become home to New Zealand's first rainbow crossing

A rainbow crossing in downtown Toronto, Canada.
A rainbow crossing in downtown Toronto, Canada. Photo credit: Getty

Wellington will be the first city in New Zealand to celebrate the LGBTQI community with a permanently installed 'rainbow crossing', if a petition to the council is successful.

The idea has support from the city's Mayor Justin Lester, who hasn't seen the petition yet but says a rainbow crossing would be great.

There's some precedent in Auckland, where a portion of the North-Western cycleway is rainbow-coloured.

Melissa Toomey's parents went to Europe and saw a rainbow crossing. When they told their daughter about it, she thought Wellington needed one too.

She thinks the best spot for the crossing could be Cuba Street, but she's aiming for the CDB in general.

"It would be great to constantly have the support for the LGBTQ community seen in that way."

"I think Wellington is probably the most rainbow-friendly city in New Zealand, but I don't think there's enough done to show it," she told Newshub.

Mr Lester is strongly in support of the idea.

"It's important to tell the story of Wellington's place in New Zealand's Pride history more visually.

"A rainbow crossing would be great, particularly this year, given it's the 40th anniversary of the International Gay and Lesbian Conference, which is being held in our city in 2019.

"Cuba Street is part of that legacy and it would be a great place for this."

Ms Toomey got her place of work - Wellington's arm of The Edge radio station - involved in the petition. The station is now doing what it can to promote the idea.

"The station believes this initiative will set a benchmark for New Zealand and provide a permanent show of support for the community in Wellington," The Edge Wellington said in a statement.

Wellington Pride backs the idea, too.

"Wellington is such a diverse and artistic community, and has been making waves for a long time," says Wellington Pride community liaison Joshua Holmberg. "I love the idea."

The petition will be presented to the Council on February 24, in the hope it would be installed during Wellington's Pride Festival, which runs until March 10.