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Pride Festival cancels march and Out in the Park

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The Wellington Pride Festival | Tū Whakahīhī e Te Whanganui-ā-Tara has canclled today’s Pride Hikoi and the Out in the Park event, at the request of the police.

The organisers of the annual event placed this message on Facebook:

Aroha mai. Like you, Out Wellington Inc are devastated by the horror that unfolded in Christchurch. Our thoughts and love are with all of our Muslim whānau, their whānau, communities and the people of Christchurch.

We just heard from Chris Bensemann, Acting District Commander of the Police, that they strongly advise we not proceed with our events this weekend in the interest of public safety.

Oride Hikoi and Out in the Park are cancelled.

Thank you to the many people and groups who have been in touch to discuss what we can collectively do to acknowledge this act of hatred and to tautoko both those immediately affected and our own community members.

Please take care of yourselves and each other.

Facebook announcement from Pride Parade
With our hearts heavy, the Board of the Wellington International Pride Parade has decided to postpone our celebration of inclusion, diversity and humanity – a new date will be announced in due course.

We, like all New Zealanders, are hurting today. We have considered long and hard about asking Wellingtonians to walk alongside us in solidarity with our friends and whanau in Christchurch; we don’t want terrorists to win, we don’t want terrorists to dictate how we live our lives.

If we were to proceed, we would divert crucial emergency services away from their duty. While we want to march in solidarity, to resist these acts of hate and intolerance and to tell terrorists they have no power in our country, we believe it is more important to honour the lives of those who were taken.

We stand with all New Zealanders who are appalled by the attack on our liberty and we will be back; taller, stronger and with resolve.

Kia Kaha Christchurch. Kia Kaha Aotearoa.

RNZ: Events also cancelled in Auckland and Christchurch