New Zealand’s first pride bus launches in Wellington City
Wellington International Pride Parade (WIPP) Co-Chair Amanduh La, WIPP board member Heather Henare, WIPP Co-Chair Richard Tait, Regional Councillor David Lee, Wellington City Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, Metlink General Manager Greg Pollock and Drag King ‘Prince Charles’ at the launch of New Zealand’s first pride bus.
A double decker bus wrapped in rainbow colours to support the upcoming Wellington International Pride Parade as well as the month-long Pride Festival, was launched in Island Bay today.
The pride bus, which is the first ever bus to be part of the Pride Parade, is a collaborative entry from Greater Wellington Regional Council, Wellington City Council, Tranzurban and Go Media.
Greater Wellington Regional Councillor and Deputy Chair of the Transport Committee David Lee says it is fantastic to be able to jump on board and support such a great cause.
“This rainbow bus is a great way of showing that, along with our partner organisations, we support inclusion and diversity and it is important to us that all our passengers can get onto our buses and feel safe and secure.
“The bus is the first of its kind in New Zealand, and I want to thank our LGBTQIA+ community for being brave, for being bold and for bringing bling, glam and glitter to this city,” Cr Lee says.
Peter Jackson, of Taranaki Whānui ki te Upoko o te Ika (Port Nicholson Block Settlement Trust), officially opened the ceremony and welcomed attendees who turned out to celebrate the launch despite the windy weather.
“This bus shows the city’s wider commitment to supporting the LGBTQIA+ community,” Mr Jackson says.
Speeches were given by Cr Lee, Wellington City Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, Tranzurban’s Alex Mersi, Wellington Pride Festival’s Steven Sue and Wellington International Pride Parade Co-Chairs Richard Tait and Amanduh La.
Amanduh, who dressed to impress, explained how the Pride Parade began in Wellington three years ago and became a beacon of diversity and inclusion, and Richard added “it may only be a bus, but it’s a really special bus to us”.
Cr Lee and Cr Fitzsimons cut the rainbow ribbon, officially launching the bus which Wellingtonians will be able to enjoy on the number 1 route from Island Bay for the next couple of months.
“The bus will feature in the Pride Parade on March 7 and we encourage everyone to come along on the day and celebrate the diversity the Wellington community has to offer,” Cr Lee says.