Following the Auckland Pride board's majority decision to ban police in uniforms from marching in the annual pride parade, board member Matty Jackson has resigned.
The group confirmed in a statement on Friday its banning of police, saying officers "will not be marching in uniform in the 2019 Auckland Pride Parade".
In an emotional Facebook post, Mr Jackson says it is with a "heavy heart" that he's stepping down from his position on the board, effective immediately.
He also says he stands by the decision to support police marching in uniform and does not agree with the board, but will continue to support it on other issues.
"I can't honestly support the decisions that were made. My values and that of Auckland Pride are no longer aligned and this is not a decision I have made lightly," says Mr Jackson.
"Being on a board is a difficult role and we all need to be kind to one another. I've seen the comments from both sides and whether you support or don't support the board's decision, please be kind, all of the board volunteers!"
Some members of the LGBTI community are voicing support for the board's decision on social media, while others strongly disagree. Some are calling for the parade to be boycotted as a result.
In its statement on Friday, Auckland Pride explained the reasons behind their decisions.
"These discussions indicated that whilst there is goodwill towards the NZ Police, as an institution they do not currently meet the degree of safety and awareness of intersectionality required by our rainbow communities."
Senior District Liaison Officer Tracy Phillips says police officers are extremely disappointed by the board's decision, telling Newshub if police are not welcome in uniform, then "we're not going to force ourselves on anybody."
Auckland Pride says it will still welcome any members of the NZ Police who want to join in the parade as long as they are in "plain or fancy clothes".
The Auckland Pride Festival will next run from 1-17 Feburary 2019. Applications to be part of the Pride Parade are open now.