'Farcical stitch-up': Calls to boycott Auckland Pride parade after board wins vote

The Auckland Pride board will stay in power after a vote of no confidence failed to pass on Thursday night.

The vote came after the board's controversial decision to bar police officers wearing uniforms from the parade caused uproar.

But some are calling the victory the result of dirty tactics. When the controversy erupted in November there were only about 200 members in total, but by Thursday there more than 600 voters.

The end result was neck-and-neck with 273 voting no confidence, but 325 voting against.

Appearing on The AM Show on Friday, Rainbow NZ chair Gresham Bradley said there had been a "political takeover".

"The People against Prisons Aotearoa people and some of their union friends stacked up the membership," he said.

"They'd leapt through a loophole in the constitution which would obviously need to be closed if this organisation indeed manages to survive."

Mr Bradley says the parade will go ahead, but reduced to a "protest-style event".

"They're in power, but do they have the support of the core of the community? My answer would be no.

"The core of us in the community - the older generation - the ones who've been through the battles, the ones who fought through the AIDS crisis, the ones who fought for homosexual law reform and marriage reform and all of those things, we're the ones who did all that fighting and we wanted a Pride that celebrates. They want a Pride that's all about protest."

The AM Show host Duncan Garner called on the community to "boycott Pride".

"It was an absolute farcical stitch-up, that's what it was," Garner said. "These people have been lost up their own backsides, full of self-importance."

The Auckland Pride Parade will take place on February 16 next year in Ponsonby. Since the decision to ban uniformed police, organisations including the New Zealand Defence Force, the Rainbow New Zealand Charitable Trust, SkyCity, BNZ and Vodafone have pulled out.