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Auckland Pride Parade loses another sponsor as media giant NZME pulls the plug

Media company NZME have withdrawn as a sponsor of Auckland's Pride Parade as defiant organisers remain committed to their controversial ban on police officers marching in uniform.

Police have been told they can march as long as it's not in uniform.

NZME which publishes the NZ Herald and owns a radio network including Newstalk ZB and ZM confirmed their decision to withdraw today, after several big businesses withdrew in previous days.

"NZME has made the decision to remove its sponsorship of the Auckland Pride Parade following the board's decision not to let New Zealand Police walk the parade in uniform," the head of NZME's diversity committee, Kylie Telford, told the New Zealand Herald.

"As an organisation we wholeheartedly support inclusivity, acceptance and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, and do not agree with the board's exclusion in this way.

"We will continue our support of the Rainbow Community through different avenues."

Other companies to have withdrawn as sponsors include BNZ, ANZ and Vodafone.

BNZ distanced itself from the parade yesterday, saying in a statement that "today the Pride@BNZ network has decided not to participate in the 2019 Auckland Pride Parade and we will be participating in the Pride Festival in other ways."

ANZ have also pulled out, saying "given the conflicts surrounding the 2019 parade, our Pride Network is no longer confident that our involvement will be a positive experience."

They join Vodafone, who announced in a statement just minutes after the Auckland Pride Board's own statement that the company's "Rainbow Whānau" LGBTQI+ network would not march next year.

The Ponsonby Business Association and rainbow NZ Charitable trust have also withdrawn their support.

It follows a decision to ban police in uniform from taking part. Source: 1 NEWS