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Wellington Rainbow Alliance Challenges WIPP to Consult Community

Wellington Rainbow Alliance Challenges WIPP to Consult Community

Wellington Rainbow Affiliation Towards Hope (WRATH, “the affiliation”) is an alliance of LGBTQI+ organisations, groups, and small business owners in Wellington. It has this week penned a letter calling rainbow people in Wellington to stand together to ensure Wellington International PRIDE Parade (WIPP) engages in meaningful community consultation.

Though not leading this affiliation, GMA has agreed to host the letter here, so that a diverse range of individuals and groups can add their support or provide feedback to the affiliation. Its letter is posted below.

Letter to WIPP from WRATH (the affiliation)

You may have noticed the absence of various Rainbow Community groups from last year’s Wellington International Pride Parade (WIPP), as did the organisers. The reason for that absence was a growing feeling from many rainbow people that WIPP does not represent us, and is not about us, nor for us.

There are three core issues, as identified by rainbow organisations which have heard feedback from many sectors of the rainbow population in Wellington

  1. WIPP is not connected with rainbow people broadly, nor with the community organisations who engage with rainbow people on a daily basis.
  2. WIPP organisers are not representative of rainbow populations, nor are they elected by a demographically representative diverse group.
  3. WIPP refuses to engage meaningfully with community feedback, including requests by  rainbow community support organisations to meet for discussion.

WIPP states in its 2019 annual report that among its values is a need for them to be “Supportive of and by LGBTQI-Plus communities”. It goes on to promise that WIPP “will always work, collectively, to bring LGBTQI-Plus communities together with each other and with the communities within which we live”. 

WIPP’s Board Charter says – ‘’All board members will actively consult with members of the community’’. However, in practice, WIPP refuses to consult with the community broadly despite repeated requests, and thus has no right to claim to represent us and our interests.

  • 2018: The rainbow youth organisations InsideOUT and OuterSpaces tried extensively to engage WIPP and were met with silence. After the 2018 parade, an open letter from dozens of rainbow individuals in Wellington was published, calling for a community consultation.

  • 2019: Tīwhanawhana Trust held a community hui on what is important to our communities with regard to Pride events and the Pride Parade. Only one WIPP organiser attended, and did not engage at all.

  • 2020: Gender Minorities Aotearoa, InsideOUT, Naming New Zealand, UniQ Victoria, and Ivy Bar and Cabaret collectively wrote to WIPP’s board asking them to hold consultations and start a process of engagement with Wellington’s rainbow communities. This request was flatly refused in writing.

In WIPP’s 2019 annual report it is evident that WIPP is about celebrating Wellington as a whole, and is aimed toward international tourism, and corporate sponsors, rather than rainbow people. If WIPP wants to hold a parade to celebrate Wellington, primarily funded by WCC tourism funding, they need to call it a Wellington Parade, not a Pride Parade. WIPP is NOT a Pride parade; WIPP is NOT about supporting rainbow people nor building rainbow communities. 

Participants in WIPP’s 2019 feedback survey reflect this sentiment – 

 “Too much corporate / state representation which overshadowed the few community groups.” 

We note that almost 20% of WIPPs membership work for Wellington City Council, including Councillor Nicola Young. WIPP membership is made up of people representing Orchestra Wellington, Armstrong Prestige, PrimeProperty, Air New Zealand, Countdown, and Westpac. 

Based on the 2019 WIPP annual report, of the 37 listed participants, only 10 were rainbow community entries, including state and political parties.

WIPP uses the word “Inclusivity” to justify the inclusion of, for example, an armored vehicle in the 2019 parade, even though doing so was traumatic for, and in fact excluded, migrant and refugee rainbow people- at least two families who had fled war in their home countries. An inclusive event is one which uses a Human Rights approach to take into account the needs of minority groups within the rainbow – such as disabled rainbow people and rainbow refugees. “Inclusivity” needs to mean the inclusion of rainbow people and rainbow community groups is the priority.

In contrast, Wellington Pride Festival Inc. (Out Wellington) has historically organised the Pride Hikoi, and are representative of, elected by, and accountable to the rainbow people of Wellington. They coordinate and oversee the entire two-week long Pride Festival including a full-day fair – Out in the Park, a community hīkoi, a youth ball, and facilitate over 100 events run by members of our rainbow communities. Out Wellington in the past has run a large scale Pride Parade that was as visible as any of WIPP’s. They managed to run this, promote our community, and include all areas of Wellington, with a fraction of the funding WIPP receives for a single 30 minute parade.

We believe that the problems with WIPP could be resolved by:

  1. Having a diverse ‘rainbow community’ elected board, with requirements for representation of different populations of rainbow people (eg lesbian, gay, transgender, etc).
  2. Having more community floats than corporate floats – eg, every corporate entry to sponsor two community entries.
  3. Asking the community what we want – open and meaningful community consultation. 

We invite all of Wellington’s rainbow community organisations, rainbow owned and rainbow staffed businesses, and rainbow individuals to join us as we work to hold WIPP accountable to being representative of and responsive to our community.

We call on you to boycott the WIPP events, and to instead support Wellington Pride Festival Inc.’s activities. 

We invite you to participate in the PRIDE Hīkoi, which is a Pride March along a mobility accessible route starting at 9am on Feb 22nd in Civic Square, ending at Waitangi Park for the Out in the Park fair – an annual event in it’s 32nd year that sees thousands of people visit every year.

The Pride Hīkoi and Out in the Park are a genuine and authentic opportunity to come together to celebrate pride and our rainbow communities. 

Signed, Wellington Rainbow Affiliation Towards Hope.


Te Aito Rangatira, Auckland Pride Festival Incorporated, Aunty Dana’s Op Shop, Gender Minorities Aotearoa, InsideOUT, Ivy Bar and Cabaret, Naming New Zealand, Opportunity for Animals Opshop, Promised Land Tales, QUILTED BANANAS Radio Collective, Stillwaters Community, The Black Sheep Animal Sanctuary Otaki, The Gender Centre Wellington, Tranzform, UniQ Victoria, Wellington Timebank.

Individual Signatories:

Charlotte Algie, Lucia Amatiello, Amy, Alex Araya, Arthel Banog, Emma Barnes, Molly Black, Emily Blincoe, Georgina Bloomfield, Suzanne Blumsky, Morgana Brewer, Benoite Broche, Kerry Brown, Rosina Buchanan, Mary Buford, Libby Caligari, Riley Campbell, Autumn Candle, Tāwhana Chadwick, Lou Clifton, Kate Collyns, Olivia Cowley, Jess D, Eliana Darroch, Rosie Dent, Katherine Dewar, Zakk d’Larté, Kelly Donaldson, Luna Doole, Alick Draper, Erin Draper, Megan Duncan, Sol Marco Duncan, Ella Edwards, Kim Eland, Miah Elmes, Brodie Fraser, Chase Fox, Ally Gibson, Tomoyo Gibson, Clare Gillard, Neihana Gordon-Stables, Ada Greig, Leo Goldie-Anderson, Kyle Habershon, Will Hansen, Chaz Harris, Beth Hartigan, Gates Henderson, Emilie Hope, Jove Horton, Helen Howell, Simon Hubbard, James Hunt, Craig Hutson, Ciaran Hyslop, Jade, Jojo, Eli Joseph, K, Alana Kane, Brie Keatley, Neo Kenny, Bronwyn Kerr, Elle Kingsbury, Kowhai, Rebecca L, Danny Lam, Tori Levy, Frank Lewis, Izzy Lewis, Eva Liardet, Josh Lowe, Vivian Lyngdoh, Helen Lyttelton, Codee MacDonald, Alex Macale, Piripi Mackie, Braydon Mahoney, Hayden Malan, Nathaniel Manning, Christoph Martens, Jaimee Matthews, Kate McIntyre, Conan McKegg, C Meyer, Toby Morahan, Kiran Morar, Madeleine Moss, Asher Norris, Roisin O’Donovan, Jelly O’Shea, Han Ostini, Andrew Pang, Iscah Pascal, Indy Pendant, Sam Phillips, Phoebe, Dani Pickering, Sammy Pitt, Tasmin Prichard, Hannah Pym, Jorge Quirarte, Ayler Raven-Pearce, Rupert Pirie-Hunter, Sasha Posadas, Hauauru Rae, Aiden Reason, Adam Reynolds, J D Roberts, Geo Robrigado, Hayley Rosvall, Jay Rudolph, Mere-Pounamu Brown-Wi Rutene, Stephanie Sabine, Llaren Sagan, Anisha Sankar, Lucy Schrader, Rebecca Scott, Sassafras Shepheard, Bella Simpson, Simie Simpson, Caitlin Sinclair, Connor Smith, Kristin Smith, Vivian Smith, Faelan Sorenson, Urs Stafford, Annalucia Stasis, Malia Stewart, Kelsi Stroud, Scott Summerfield, Sam Sutherland, Twoflower Tourist, Matt Tuker, Max Tweedie, Mirkyton Ummashtarte, Benjamin van den Eykel, Peter W, Kate Waghorn, Catherine Ward, Natalie Watkin Ward, Chris Weeks, Ahi Wi-Hongi, Aliyah Winter, Kathleen Winter, Hiromi Yagishita, Christian Young, Aatir Zaidi, Zoey.

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Hikoi and Out in the Park Wellington 2020

Hikoi and Out in the Park Wellington 2020

Please join us for the Pride Hikoi (Pride March), followed by Out in the Park rainbow community festival, Saturday 22 Feb 2020.

The Hikoi kicks off at 9am from Civic Square in the Wellington CBD.
We will be there with a banner and trans flag placards, please come grab a placard or bring your own, and walk together with us! The Pride Hikoi follows an accessible route along the waterfront to Waitangi Park (just past Te Papa). It is a 10min walk at regular pace, but the hikoi will move slowly and leave no one behind, so 30 mins has been allocated.

Out in the Park starts at 9.30/10am with the arrival of the Pride Hikoi.
We will have an Aunty Dana’s Op Shop stall with all kinds of fabulous donated pre-loved clothing and other bits and pieces – nothing over $5!!!

We will also have a Gender Minorities Aotearoa stall with info pamphlets and our trans flag bunting, as well as our gorgeous transgender diversity mugs for sale.



Gender Minorities Aotearoa is hosting SHE + THEY during Fringe Festival and Pride Month in Wellington.

“Love in transition… in rural NZ.”

A New Zealand Premiere by the writer/performer of award-winning “”ZE.”

When: 17 to 21 March, 6:30pm to 7:30pm.
Where: Aunty Dana’s Op Shop, 130 Riddiford Street, Newtown.
Cost: $10 Concessions, $15 Standard.
Accessibility: Aunty Dana’s is on the ground floor, it is up 2 steps with a hand rail, The bathroom is all-genders and has a hand rail. The lighting is non-fluro tubing, or non-fluro lamps. It is a low allergen space, with tile flooring, no air-freshers, and we ask that you please refrain from wearing perfume or cologne.

Supported by Zir Productions, Gender Minorities Aotearoa, Aunty Dana’s Op Shop, and Creative NZ- Arts Council of New Zealand Toi Aotearoa. Part of Fringe Festival, Celebrating 30 Years at the Fringe. Tix and Bits at

Image of a couple’s hands clasped together, cupping an artickoke heart between them, on a black background



Raw Sugar Monthly Sober Social is back for 2020!

What and who:

Join us for kai and social chats with lovely people, bring yourself, whanau and friends, and some kai to share if you want to. Kai and chats go for the first two hours, and then we watch a film for the last two hours. The film is often rated R16 or R18, but the kai and chats are suitable for all ages. Doors close at the halfway point, so please arrive by then so someone can let you in.

When and where:

Raw Sugar Wellington is held on the second Saturday each month, from 4 till 8pm during summer, and from 2 till 6pm during winter, at the GMA Wellington office and community drop in (The Gender Centre Wellington).

The Gender Centre Wellington is on the first floor above Aunty Dana’s Op Shop – come through the store and out the back and then upstairs, or ask at the shop counter.


It is not mobility accessible at the moment. There are all-genders toilets, and the lighting is non-fluorescent. It is a low allergen space, so no sprays or air-freshers, and please don’t wear perfume or cologne. Disability assist animals are welcome, however due to allergies and phobias please do not bring any other animals.

Summer times:

March – 14th, 4pm kai, 6pm film, 8pm finish.
April – 11th, 4pm kai, 6pm film, 8pm finish.

Winter times:

May – 2pm kai, 4pm film, 6pm finish.
June – 13th, 2pm kai, 4pm film, 6pm finish.
July – 11th, 2pm kai, 4pm film, 6pm finish.
August – 8th, 2pm kai, 4pm film, 6pm finish.
September – 12th, 2pm kai, 4pm film, 6pm finish.

Summer times:

October – 10th, 4pm kai, 6pm film, 8pm finish.
November – 14th, 4pm kai, 6pm film, 8pm finish.

End of 2020:

December – 12th – no Raw Sugar.

December – 29th – join us for a community water fight at Vinegar Hill gay camp, Putai Ngahere reserve, near Hunterville. It is free to come for a day trip, just pay $5 each to the Queen at The Palace marquee. Details and prices for overnight camping are available here.

RAW sUGAR 2020

Making Trans Histories Project

Making Trans Histories Project

Gender Minorities Aotearoa co-developed and participated in this fabulous project from Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand:

Trans Past, Trans Present; The Making Trans Histories Project.

”Trans people from their teens to their 70s were asked to identify objects of personal importance and to share the objects’ stories. What emerged was a quirky collection that is a testament to the diversity of trans experiences, and which disrupts established (and cis-written) narratives about trans lives.”

We are so grateful to Project Coordinator Will Hansen, and the team from Te Papa, for their enthusiasm and vision.

making trans histories

View the full project and read the 29 stories on Te Papa’s website by clicking here.

Happy Transgender Awareness Week 2019 #TransAwarenessWeek