New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made history on the weekend, being the first ever PM to march in the Auckland Pride Parade.
Following in the footsteps of Canada’s Justin Trudeau, the pregnant PM officially opened the parade on Saturday night with a speech, the cutting of one of many ribbon bows and then marched the length of K Road to the cheers of the estimated 30,000 people that came out to celebrate.
More than 70 floats took part in this year’s parade, the first Auckland Pride event this year not affected in some way by rain.
As the parade picked up the pace, community groups alongside well-known brands and venues joined in with the collective to celebrate diversity. But it was Ardern that it seemed the crowd had come to see.
Speaking on TVNZ, Ardern said she was surprised that a sitting PM hadn’t marched in the parade before.
“It probably should’ve happened a while ago,” said the PM.
“I’ve marched so many times that it feels surprising to me that it hasn’t happened already.
“Ultimately this is a parade about diversity and inclusiveness and I’m really proud of the work the team [Labour] has done to make that real over the years.
“We cant be complacent, as long as there are LGBTQ kids in New Zealand who have high levels of mental health issues and self-harm, that tells us we still have work to do.”
Mr Gay Pride Australia Jordan Bruno marched with his Mum Anna on the SkyCity float, while Mr Gay New Zealand Ricky Devine-White marched with his husband Arthur amongst the Ending HIV float.
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