Thousands turn out for new Auckland Pride March up Queen Street

After the decision to scrap the usual Pride Parade following controversy about banning uniformed police, Auckland's Pride March took place on Saturday evening with its all-new format.

More than 3000 people turned out to the event, which began in Auckland Central's Albert Park before making its way up Queen St and to Myers Park.

The massive group wasn't expected by organisers, who said that only 750 people had registered to come along.

The march is a move away from the annual Ponsonby Pride Parade which was cancelled in January following the controversial move to ban police in uniforms.

That ban led corporates sponsors and supporters to start pulling out in support for the police, including BNZ Bank, SkyCity, Westpac, Vodafone, Fletcher, the New Zealand Defence Force and the Rainbow New Zealand Trust.

Auckland Pride Parade founder Gresham Bradley joined in the debacle, calling for the board to be sacked - however, the board eventually survived a no-confidence vote.

But others supported the board's decision, with Emilie Rākete from Prisons Against Aotearoa highlighting police brutality statistics.

The board maintained at the time that the "complaints about police consistently outnumbered feedback about any other institution or organisation".

New Zealand Police Senior District Liaison Officer Tracy Phillips said police officers were extremely disappointed by the board's decision, telling Newshub at the time if police are not welcome in uniform, then "we're not going to force ourselves on anybody".