Auckland Pride board survives ‘no confidence’ vote over police controversy

A police officer attends Auckland Pride 2018 (Photo: Facebook)

Auckland Pride’s board members will stay in their roles after surviving a no confidence vote after it decided to ban police from marching in uniform.

In November the Pride Festival Board asked officers to wear plain clothes if they wanted to march in the parade. The controversial decision led to officers refusing to march and major sponsors pulling out of supporting the event.

Organizers banned police from marching in uniform because some LGBTI people did not feel safe around police.

‘These discussions indicated that whilst there is goodwill towards the NZ Police, as an institution they do not currently meet the degree of safety and awareness of intersectionality required by our rainbow communities,’ Auckland Pride said in a statement last month.

No confidence

Four members of Auckland Pride called the special general meeting after expressing a show of no confidence in the board.

Roughly 600 Pride members attended the meeting to vote, with 325 voting against no confidence and 273 voting in favor.

Joel Walsham told those at the meeting he had full confidence in the board. He said historically uniformed police had done ‘harm to a lot [LGBTI] people’.

‘I hope to continue to have a board that amplifies these voices and I continue to have support in the board,’ Walsham said, according to Stuff.

Ari Lewis voted against the ‘no confidence’ motion.

‘It shows the vast majority feels strongly about protecting [the community’s] most vulnerable people,’ Lewis told Stuff.

‘By including police in uniform in the parade, we would be excluding members of our community.’

Source: Gay News