Pride Board sur­vives

The New Zealand Herald - - Front Page - Luke Kirk­ness

The Auck­land Pride board last night sur­vived a no-con­fi­dence vote. A mo­tion was in­tro­duced at a spe­cial gen­eral meet­ing after the board banned uni­formed po­lice of­fi­cers from march­ing in the an­nual Pride pa­rade.

The de­ci­sion prompted a month of divi­sion within the rain­bow com­mu­nity. Sev­eral spon­sors of the event have with­drawn their sup­port. The mo­tion was de­feated 325 to 273.

The board of Auck­land Pride has sur­vived a no-con­fi­dence vote, sparked by more a month of divi­sion within the LGBTI+ com­mu­nity.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple gath­ered last night at Pitt St Methodist Church in cen­tral Auck­land for a spe­cial gen­eral meet­ing of the or­gan­i­sa­tion which runs the Auck­land Pride Fes­ti­val.

After ini­tially de­lib­er­at­ing on whether to al­low the me­dia in — they were — a mo­tion of no-con­fi­dence against the board was even­tu­ally put to a vote about 9pm.

It was de­feated by 52 votes — 273 for the mo­tion and 325 against. Only those who had reg­is­tered be­fore the meet­ing were el­i­gi­ble to vote.

The board hit tur­bu­lence last month when it an­nounced it would ban uni­formed po­lice of­fi­cers from march­ing in the Fe­bru­ary Pride Pa­rade, a flag­ship event on the fes­ti­val pro­gramme.

Sev­eral com­pa­nies and spon­sors with­drew their sup­port and said they wouldn’t par­tic­i­pate. Among them were Fire and Emer­gency New Zealand, Rain­bow New Zealand Char­i­ta­ble Trust, the New Zealand De­fence Force, Vodafone New Zealand’s Rain­bow Wha¯nau, SkyCity and NZME, which pub­lishes the Her­ald.

There was strong sup­port last night for both sides of the de­bate. An­thony Rus­sell, who moved the mo­tion, said Pride should be about en­gag­ing not ex­clud­ing.

It’s un­clear whether the board would have stood down had they lost. A re­port on gay­ex­ said the board had com­mis­sioned a le­gal opin­ion that found it would not have to re­sign even if the mo­tion were car­ried.

“Mark Von Dadel­szen has con­cluded in his re­port that un­der the cur­rent Auck­land Pride con­sti­tu­tion, the board will not have to re­sign in the event of a no-con­fi­dence mo­tion, ef­fec­tively ren­der­ing the pur­pose of tonight’s SGM point­less,” the re­port said.

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