Pride Parade is a celebration of love and diversity that attracts thousands to Auckland’s Ponsonby Road every year.

This year’s parade will the biggest ever with over 70 floats representing a wide range of community groups and businesses.

Organiser Shaughan Woodcock says beyond the colour and the gala atmosphere, there are a number of important issues that will be highlighted.

“What we want to do with this parade and this festival is send a very clear signal to the world that Aotearoa-New Zealand is the shining light for our rainbow community's rights.”

Woodcock also says a lot of work goes into the planning to make every year bigger and better.

“We've got our first same-sex wedding taking place in the parade. That's the first wedding in the parade in the southern hemisphere. In total, we'll be expecting around 3500 people participating and an audience of around 25,000 to 30,000.”

NZ AIDS Foundation’s Whati Te Wake says with all of the colour and vibrancy there are also some big issues being highlighted.

“Ki te moe tāne me mau pūkoro ure anō hoki kua kite hoki i ngā wiki kua taha ake nā Pharmac me te kāwanatanga i whakaae kia hokona i te pire PreP, Pre-exposure Prophylaxis. He pire kia taea te tangata ki te tango ia rā kia whakawhānui ake i tā rātou i roto i te tinana kia kaua e whiwhi i te HIV.”

Te Wake says another major issue for him is to support indigenous communities in the Pacific where it is still illegal to be openly gay.

“Ki ngā wāhi pērā anō ki Ngā Kuki Airani, e noho pehi tonu ana rātou, kāhore rātou e āhei ana kia noho tahi me tētahi atu, tāne ki te tāne, wahine ki te wahine.”

From NZ Police to community groups and political parties this street will be packed with those who are showing their support for the rainbow community.

Te Wake also says this parade allows the community a platform and public profile.

“E kore e taea e tātou te panoni i a mātou anō. Ko te mea nui kia whai wāhanga mātou ki te hīkoi mā runga i tēnei huarahi me te tū i roto i tā mātou mana motuhake.”

The parade starts at 7:30 pm on Ponsonby Road.

TVNZ will be providing live coverage via our website https://www.tvnz.co.nz/shows/auckland-pride-parade

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