A brief history of NZ Police marching in Uniform in the NZ Pride parade


As sponsor after sponsor after sponsor march out of the Pride Parade, those Trans Activists advocating for the exclusion of Police in uniform have desperately attempted to broaden the justifications of exclusion because the ‘uniform might trigger Trans people’ argument has looked increasingly flakey.

It’s now abuse by Police against Māori, poor people, Trans people and the wider rainbow community that is the reason Police can’t march in Uniform, which seems a tad disingenuous.

Look, I’m no fan of the bloody pigs, I’ve had them breach my civil rights and illegally spy on me while defaming me to every financial institute and bank in NZ and my case in front of the Human Rights Review Tribunal continues to drag on because the HRRT don’t have the bloody funding to prosecute them, so I’m no cheerleader for the NZ Police – buuuuuuuuut, the claims by those who have excluded Police from Pride and have justified that exclusion by claiming that all the Police had to do was take off their uniform ignores the fight Rainbow Community Police had to go through to earn that privilege.

NZ Police first marched in Pride in 2013 but they weren’t allowed to march in Uniform. Police hierarchy were happy for their rainbow members to march but believed allowing them to do that in Uniform would somehow bring shame upon that uniform. Those who did march vented their frustration at this sense of shame through the Police Association and at the end of 2014, the new Police Commissioner green lit their right to march in Uniform.

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…what Pride Parade Organisers didn’t appreciate when they called on Police to simply take their Uniform off was the internal struggle Rainbow Police had gone to gain that right in the first place and that demanding they remove it was always going to be met by them leaving the parade all together. This miscalculation on behalf of the Trans Activists explains their desperate need to conflate this now to wider abuse by the Police against lots of the other groups.

The truth is that total Police exclusion has always been the objective of the Trans Activists at PAPA, they said as much in this email sent out to other Trans Activists last week…

Kia ora whānau,

As many of you may have heard the Auckland pride board decided to not to let police wear uniforms in the pride parade. Obviously we ideally we would not like police to march at all but this was a good first step and compromise. There has been a lot of backlash though and the people who want cops to march in uniform have been signing people up to be members and are planning on calling for a special general meeting to try and get rid of the current board members. So if you’re LGBT please sign up so that we can push for this decision to not be overturned.


Ngā mihi,
Auckland Branch

…so instead of trying to hold onto the ‘uniform will trigger us’ line, they should just be straight up and confess they see any involvement by police as part of the capitalist system they want to over throw via radical exclusion.

The wider Rainbow Community have now called for a special general meeting in the first week of December to sack the Board and overturn the decision, it will be fascinating to see how the older Rainbow Community of LGB who have fought so long for inclusion face down the younger TQI activists who want to exclude. This is Pure Temple dogma vs Broad Church ideology and it can be seen throughout the Identity Politics Left, particularly inside the Greens.

This Pride Parade debacle mirrors the free speech debacle in that the loudest most woke voices don’t seem to appreciate the full implications of their demands on wider issues – exclusion over inclusion leads to a smug self-righteousness that is more alienating than a Green Party fundraiser at a polyamorous vegan eco commune in downtown Wellington.

Can it be a Rainbow Parade if there is no blue?


  1. “Can it be a Rainbow Parade if there is no blue”?

    NO is the answer.

    Reason; Labour ran on the election as a bastion of “inclusion’ Martyn.

    I will fight to my last breathe for total “inclusion’ in all things and with all MP’s offering inclusion with them as our ‘advocates’.

    There are now several errant MP’s in Labour whop are ignoring our NGO calling on MP’s to meet with us and Phil Twyford is in focus with our committee at present as being a radical as he has not included us in his list of meetings so we have a long way to go to get them all offering “inclusion” as promised by Labour before we voted them into power.

    So our NGO war with the ‘anti-inclusion’ MP’s in Government still goes on sadly after their first year in Government.

    I am not surprised there are young anti-inclusion among the supporters of the rainbow movement as they are also among government it appears too.

    Good article Martyn. 100%

    • Nailed it, Cleangreen.

      It’s ironic that those so-called activists demanding cops be excluded still ddmand inclusion for themselves.

      Thus is not justice by any measure of definition.

  2. Bit of a bastard for some that police are actually people with the full range of whatever that means. If they were just stones kicking them into the Ponsonby kerbs might be fair enough..

  3. I’d rather see the Police march in Dominatrix gear, it would be most appropriate, I suppose. With whips and batons and handcuffs and other gear, but bare legs and arms, the rest covered in fringed black leather with lots of studs. Tattoes would be ok also, I presume, lots of cops seem to have copied this off the other gangs, and carry them on their bodies.

  4. If we want to talk seriously about ‘inclusion’ in society lets politely request that the capitalist class that owns the means of production and can therefore force workers into wage work so as to generate its profits, voluntarily ‘includes’ workers in that ownership so that we can build a ‘diverse’ ‘equal’ and genuinely ‘rainbow’ society.

    Then we can have a Pride march that celebrates ‘inclusion’ in a non-class, non-racial, non-sexist and non-repressive and democratic society where the workers militia is elected, accountable, recallable, and earns no more than the average worker.

    Until that happens, workers have to ‘exclude’ those who represent the interests of the ruling class to ‘exclude’ the working class from ownership of the means of production – and that includes the cops, the capitalist politicians, and their mouthpieces in the media.

    • Dave, I understand your point. But I think you are missing Bomber’s. The participation of uniformed cops in the Pride Parade is not about promoting the cops, at the behest of their leadership, it’s about defending the right of gay cops to publicly identify themselves as such, even if their leadership would prefer they didn’t. In other words, having uniformed cops in the parade is a victory *against* the cops as a conservative institution, not a PR victory by the cops against us.

      The Pride Parade is not a revolutionary, anti-capitalist, workers party. It is a public event promoting a single issue; queer inclusion. Whatever we might think of the cops, as individuals or as an institution, it remains the case that gay cops are gay people too.

      • Nah. Bomber’s point has always been that ‘inclusion’ of bosses agents right to assemble and speak is a democratic right to be defended to the death.

        The Board did not ban gay cops, only the uniforms which are associated with repression. It seems the bankrupt social democratic left in Aotearoa is more concerned about reforming the cops than supporting a politicised radical youth.

        In that cause the fake left is in the boss camp of the big banks, the military, corporates and businesspeople, against radical youth, the oppressed, Unite union, and lots of community support to replace corporate sponsorship.

        The fact that GayPride members who don’t agree with social democrats and other allies of the cops and the corporates doesn’t mean they are Marxists. They are making a political statement about their experience of police oppression and that, for any real Marxist, is a principle to be defended.

        Nor do the young radicals being smeared in this fight to defend the police command, fall for your single issue argument. Note how they unite the fight for gay liberation with anti-racism, anti-imperialism and prisoner rights. You have some way to go to catch up Danyl.

        • Dave, you’ve missed Danyl’s valid point. And since when was it ok to deny the jobs that police do by insisting they wears t-shirts with “police” emblazined on it? Will any other LGBT person who works in a particular career be required to forego their uniform snd wear a t shirt?? No? Why not? Double standard or what??

          As Georgina Beyer pointed out, refusing to permit uniformed police to march is pushing them back into the closet. As she asked,

          “What’s that about??”

          We’re either inclusive or we are not. You can’t have Inclusion with exclusions. That’s not how it works.

          Otherwise we might as well go back to “honorary whites”. Remember that from apartheid era Sth Africa?

          • +1 Mjolnir and Danyl.

            I detect a bit of not so subtle bashing of Maori (the “taxpayers union’s” attack on Maori given koha) and the attempt to exclude LGBT police from the so-called “pride” march. This is intolerance from different sectors of society.

            Like many people I’m old enough to remember the bullshit around gay men during the 1986 homosexual law reform debate. That got real nasty as well. Lots of commentary from bigots about sharing a public loo with gay men. Or that homosexuality “wasn’t natural”. I’m hearing similar coded attacks on trans people.

            FFS, people, stop projecting your insecurities. Trans people are not out to molest you in a toilet. By all stats, that’s most likely to happen in your own own, by a heterosexual relative.

            I thought we had gotten past this. I though we were better than this kind of bigoted crap. And more shameful because it comes from some so-called feminists and LGBT activists.

            As others have said, you can’t have inclusion and tolerance if some sectors of the community are going to be excluded,or told to stay in the shadows.

  5. Thanks for that key bit of history about Rainbow Police – probably the most important piece of info for those of us wanting to understand this debate

  6. “The coalition said if the Auckland Pride board was voted out, donations would be split “between a variety of organisations who work for a truly just and racially equitable Aotearoa where all members of the rainbow feel safe and loved”.”

    That’s nice.

    Everyone feeling safe and loved would be nice too. But life’s not like that unfortunately – and would that it were.

    Many of us have made complaints to and about the police.

    That doesn’t mean that I don’t know that most of them are okay; that at times they have rather a difficult sort of job; that they were used by the previous govt for mean purposes; that they have the same foibles as the rest of us, but they are in bigger trouble if they show them.

    The notion of cops deliberately targeting the trans community is unrealistic – they’re not a bunch of Donald Trumps, and the current complaints sound like the victim-hood of some Women’s Studies Depts.

    Some years ago I pulled out of a university second half year Women’s Studies paper, after suffering through the first one.What straight women found hardest was that we thought them to be more anti-men than pro women. The quality of teaching fluctuated, assignments got lost.

    One assignment was to make a submission to Parliament. I knew the sort of thing I was expected to say, and I had no intention of having my name on it going to Parliament. I decided to forfeit marks by handing in a late assignment, and missing the deadline. I thought students should not be used in this way.

    The father of one student worked for the NZQA and was helping her to make a formal complaint to the university about the course; I don’t know the outcome, I took a different direction.

    Enclosed groups can often feed off each others’ experiences and prejudices, but using them to try to demonise the whole NZ Police Force
    is cloud-cuckoo land territory.

    People getting disturbed at the sight of a uniformed cop should qualify for ACC counselling.

    I don’t see a sheep – including a toy one – without remembering Murray McCully gifting them to the rich murderous Saudis. This could worsen with the evil killing of Jamal Khashoggi and the convenient silence of nice governments. Maybe we should abolish sheep so that people like me aren’t troubled by thoughts of what happens under regimes where the rule of law differs so drastically and terribly from ours.

    • Well said thanks Snow whiten I agree with you.

      I am a very well traveled Kiwi man that lived as a kiwi in every continent of the world beginning with my first OE to Australia in 1966 then Canada then US from 1968 and then Africa, in 1970 on to Europe and then went around the whole globe again until 1976 that taught me from then ‘not to be told what to think but make your own mind up after researching the real facts’ first hand.

      What i see now is a well organised group at the core of several organisations like the one that stopped the two Canadians coming here to talk about their views on migration ect’ then we have this group trying to ban organisations like the Police, and we saw the movement in US elections funded by a convicted criminal billionaire like George Soros funding the US Universities wit his own ‘anti-trump’ election agenda plans.

      So we do actually have a well organised and well funded self interest groups with their own goals of political outcomes and agendas, inside large organisations like Universities and are not shy to do anything to accomplish their own agenda.

      This all is very disturbing as this is shaping up to look similar to 1933 Germany and we need to realise that they have begun that war already against the ‘free thinkers’ like us snow white.

      Thanks for you input as a free thinker.

      • Funny you should reference 1933 Germany, Clean Green. I have just finished reading Stephen Spender’s autobiographical novel,”The Temple”, set in Germany from 1929 to about 1933.

        Suddenly NZ’s deification of the All Blacks and rugby presents as a parallel to what was was happening with the Children of the Sun in the pre-Nazi Wiemar Republic. But I shan’t think about it too much – back in the 70’s, Time Magazine had a cover headed “Thinking as
        a Bad Habit.”

        The current defamation case against Key’s erstwhile friend Cameron Slater may show what happens when big money seeks and gets power and influence – and what sick selfish bastards they can be. People who haven’t read Hager’s, “Dirty Politics” don’t really know how chilling the dynamics were.

        I have wondered if Hager’s Austrian family origins may have enabled him to accomplish outstanding and utterly meticulous mapping of NZ politics at a level not achieved, and possibly not even cared about, by the bulk of our journos of Brit ancestry.

        They should care. But at least we still live in a country where men like Hager don’t vanish overnight, they are just disparaged by the rich boys – who are believed by the idiots.

    • You think that most of them are okay? Really?

      They are a cult of there own who close ranks when someone steps out of line – this happens all the time. I recently watched the doco on Teina Pora and the one on the Peter Plumley-Walker, Huka falls tragedy.

      None of those cops have ever been held accountable for their actions and never will be.

      I have no truck with the cops and I would never want to be in a march with any of them ever.

  7. At least what has gone on in the past weeks and days has drawn attention to what the Pride parade has really become, things I didn’t know were going on.

    Namely an outlet for corporate sponsors to sell their products, utterly indifferent to inclusion but always chasing the mighty dollar no matter how cynical, always sensing an opportunity to exploit that possibility, this time in the rainbow world. Their shallow motives were amply demonstrated when things got slightly untidy, the “gift” money was snatched away until the recipients tow the line again.

    Or the police, wanting to be the big cuddly fun filled social workers to somehow defuse the fact they are the coercive arm of the state, that is naturally disliked, feared and loathed by some. That this goes on shows perhaps how some cops struggle being cops whist others higher up see this as a golden opportunity like their corporate parade going colleagues, to use for other motives, in their case happily using that moment to tick the diversity box on their way up the corporate ladder . Job done!

    The whole thing has degenerated into Santa parade for adults, a facade, hijacked by other motives.

    I hope for the right reasons this event goes back to what it was meant to be and the past few weeks purified it of the unwanted baggage that used it like an unwilling host.

  8. I’m still struggling to understand why the Police, both as an organisation, as as individuals, won’t agree to a mufti look.
    Like a printed tshirt.
    It seems like a simple compromise and not lacking in mana.
    After all, its the Police as an organisation who need to work at integrating themselves into the LGBTQI community, the compromise would be simple good manners, and good PR given that, in reality, PR is what this seems to be about.

    Think of it this way, I’m a heartfelt committed atheist, but I don’t feel the need to assert that stand at the family Christmas because I know 2 of the inlaws are fundamentalist Christians and I feel no need to make them uncomfortable on that particular day, even though they are the minority and clearly wrong headed. However I will say my bit and make a stand if the conversation goes sideways and will simply stare blankly at the wall during ‘grace’.
    Its a compromise that allows for us all to feel included.
    Its not that darned hard.

    • Will you ask others to wear mufti as well, Siobhan? Or just one group of people?

      Now, what’s the word for that.?

    • Well either you do not know or you are not cognizant of the implications of the history of police in uniform at the Pride Parade. And this is really not about not offending the others in the parade who may suffer some kind of ‘trigger’, that is plain pathetic. You keeping your mouth shut during Grace is not the same thing at all as this situation either.

  9. “It seems like a simple compromise and not lacking in mana.”

    I remember a compromise New Zealanders once made. Apartheid Sth africa wouldn’t accept maori as part of the All Blacks team. The RNZFU wouldn’t send an All Blacks team without Maori members.

    The compromise was that Maori All Blacks went to Sth Africa – as ” honorary whites”.

    Compromise made. Or, put another way, we were compromised.

    Inclusion doesn’t seem very inclusive if one part of the community have to hide who they are.

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