Pride – our fabulous day
Pride 2017 was the brightest and most fabulous yet for Police, writes Inspector Tracy Phillips.
Drag queen Miss Chocolate Box and transgender youngster Ben, travelling in one of our cars, linked our formal colour party to our informal walking group, highlighting our work to provide a Safe New Zealand for all.
Miss Chocolate Box - magnificent in a 2kg jewelled headdress, sequined rainbow-feathered dress and dizzying heels - added dazzling colour and became a focal point for media and social media coverage. Hits on Facebook were at 25,000 by midday Sunday.
Would-be trans recruit ‘Tu High’ - in a Police-themed outfit - roller-bladed around. Sergeant Rhona Stace - ‘Miss Demeanor 1968’ for the day - handed out rainbow wristbands. Constable Luke Wilson made and distributed balloon animals.
Dog section pulled out all the stops, with dogs sporting rainbow-themed jackets – and some dressed as the superheroes they are. Our horses sparkled with glitter and bling.
Police were the tenth float in the parade, immediately ahead of the Fire Service - so there was occasional welcome relief from the heat when we got wet. Our contingent was really well organised and well received, with massive crowd support and positive feedback.
Sadly the uniform presence was down this year, completely outdone by non-constabulary employees. Pride is about celebrating all of our values - especially Valuing Diversity – and showing we are part of the community we ‘care enough’ for. It would be great to see more uniforms next year.
Huge thanks to Kirsten O’Hara and Leah Everest for all the work in putting our contingent together and making it so much fun - as well as a massive success.