Auckland Pride Parade crowdfunds nearly $5000 overnight after sponsors pull out

A crowdfunding page for the Auckland Pride Parade has raised $4819 overnight, after sponsors pulled out of the event.

Sponsors have been bailing out after the Auckland Pride board banned police from marching in uniform, mirroring pride events across the world.

The board made the decision after several LGBTQ community meetings heard concerns from those who said they had and still do experience harm and violence from police, especially people of colour.

According to the fundraising page, Māori are still twice as likely to be arrested than Pākehā, and trans people are still being misgendered and strip-searched by police officers of a different gender.

"We are a coalition of proud rainbow and Takatāpui people, as well as allies and Whānau, who believe that we have an opportunity right now to create a better Pride, country and world. One that is based on true inclusion, healthy relationships, peace, equity and aroha," the page reads.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush in 2015 admitted the force has been influenced by unconscious bias in their relations with Māori.

The Auckland Pride board believes the relationship police have with the LGBTQ community needs further work. The board offered police the chance to attend as a group in rainbow T-shirts or plain clothing, but the police refused and quit the parade entirely.

A large number of sponsors subsequently pulled out of the event, including SkyCity, Westpac, Vodafone, Fletcher and the Rainbow New Zealand Trust.

The donations raised on Givealittle are intended to be given directly to the Auckland Pride Festival but the current board is awaiting a decision to see if they will be voted out.

According to the Givealittle page if the current board is voted out, the donations will be gifted to a number of organisations "who work for a truly just and racially equitable Aotearoa where all members of the rainbow feel safe and loved".


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