Loud and proud - Pride Parade celebrates Auckland's diversity

Chris McKeen

The glamour, the glitz and the gaudiness of the Pride Parade.

Cheeky budgy smugglers, plastic strap-on boobs, lycra and gravity-defying stilettos - a rainbow array of costumes are lighting up Auckland Pride Parade. 

The who's who of the country's diverse community danced among the 50 floats travelling down Ponsonby Rd on Saturday evening.

The sun helped light up moods as Mad Max, Greek Gods and Dykes on Bikes rode past.  

Auckland's Pride Parade kicked off at 6pm on Saturday.


The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the ...
CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ

Auckland's Pride Parade kicked off at 6pm on Saturday. The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

Grandmas, toddlers and priests were among the thousands of people in the crowd screaming their support. 

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Pride Parade ambassador Miss Ribena said the parade gets bigger and brighter each year. 

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19022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

22022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

19022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

19022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

19022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

19022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

22022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

22022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

19022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

22022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

22022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

22022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

22022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

19022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

19022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

19022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

19022016 News Photo: CHRIS MCKEEN/FAIRFAX NZ The Pride parade was held along Ponsonby Road celebrating the amendment tot he Homosexual Law Reform Bill, thirty years ago.

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"I love going down the golden gay mile of Ponsonby and making more than 100,000 people smile, laugh and celebrate."

She first attended the Hero Parade in 1994 and said there was far more acceptance now, with big corporates among those now joining the party. 

Freda Waterhouse fired up the crowd as part of the four elements Pasifika float. 

#watch Thousands turn out for Auckland Pride Parade

Posted by Stuff.co.nz on Friday, 19 February 2016

"It makes me so proud and happy. I love really enjoy standing up in front of the crowd and supporting drag queens."

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A rainbow-coloured floral heart dominated the Coca-Cola float as more than 60 people danced their way through Ponsonby.

Coca-Cola human resources manager Martin King said the number of staff involved increased this year.

"It's just an incredible vibe. Everyone is so excited."

The theme for the 2016 parade is Stories, Myths & Legends and celebrating storytelling.

Girl band TrueBliss reformed to sing for the event.

It will be a special celebration for many as the parade marks the 30th anniversary of the Homosexual Law Reform Act in New Zealand, a significant milestone for the Rainbow community.

Meanwhile, about 100 protesters blocked traffic and caused congestion as they marched on the streets of Karangahape Rd to protest the treatment of transgender people in prisons.

Ahead of the parade, an organiser said a protest was expected but the group had agreed to protest away from the main parade.

However, the protestors made their way to Ponsonby Rd in an apparent effort to disrupt the parade.

Four protesters, including organiser Ti Lamusse, broke away from the main group and sat in the middle of the road, blocking the floats in the parade.

The parade had to come to a complete halt for about 45 minutes before they woved toward the end of the parade route, where about 40 protesters attempted to break through the barricades to join the floats.

A spectator said police and security guards drew dangerously close to losing control of the cordon, but more police soon arrived on the scene and managed to block them from the parade route.

Protest organiser Ti Lamusse said the group was protesting New Zealand prisons "double bunking" policy, which had cause transgendered prisoners to be raped and abused.

Lamusse said that by including police and Corrections staff, including Minister for Corrections Judith Collins, the Pride Parade was celebrating organisations that condoned the abuse of transgender people.

Queer and transgender people didn't win their rights by doing what they were told. We won them by rioting," Lamusse said.

As the police float approached them, several smaller groups of protesters splintered off from the main bunch and sat on the road to block the parade. Police removed the groups by force.

A police spokesperson said no arrests had been made at the event.

 - Stuff

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