Ki te Whai Ao

The genesis
The dawn
The spark
The realisation
The shift
The beginning of action

Ki te whai ao - to the glimmer of dawn

Auckland Pride is immensely proud to present our theme for the 2022 Auckland Pride Festival - Ki te whai ao - to the glimmer of dawn

Ki te whai ao draws from mātauranga Māori and the whakapapa of creation, which details the passage from the void through to night and then to the world of light, detailed by Te Ahukaramū Charles Royal, 'Te Ao Mārama – the natural world - The world of light and darkness'.

Te whai ao represents the birth and growth of mana in the world and forms part of the symbolism behind the Tino Rangatiratanga flag, with the red representing te whai ao.

The Glimmer of Dawn

It speaks of the emergence of something new, to the genesis of a movement, the spark of change, our own personal journeys to come into being, a shift in attitudes, and the beginnings of more action to come.

It helps us reflect on our past, our queer indigenous histories, the first liberation protest in Aotearoa, gay week, Hero parade, festival, party, Big Gay Out, and Auckland Pride Festival. It speaks to the first time you came out, joined a movement, went to a pride event, or existed proudly as queer. It also refers to the progress and dawns yet to come, the movements and struggles that are ongoing, and a brighter day just over the horizon.

Ki te whai ao relates to our personal and collective dawns from throughout our whakapapa, pre-colonisation, 50 years ago during the first Gay Liberation Protest, today and far into the future. Join us in February as we explore the dawns from across our community, and celebrate this milestone.

Auckland Pride acknowledges Māori as tangata whenua in Aotearoa, the hapū and iwi authorities across Tāmaki Makaurau as mana whenua, and our Kahui Takatāpui. We know that as a nation Aotearoa has a long way to go to best serve our rainbow communities and we are committed to continuing work to develop stronger relationships with the communities we serve under our umbrella.

We acknowledge that because of colonisation we’ve been fighting for what was taken away from our indiginous whānau who lived freely and openly in a society that accepted sexual and gender diversity.We want to be part of a Nation that acknowledges the realities of history & we intend to move in a way that is mindful of our impact, our history, our natural environment & our future generations.

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50 Years of Pride

The Gay Liberation movement began in Aotearoa in 1972, 50 years ago, ignited by the protest in Albert Park Rangipuke that quickly spread to Te Whanganui ā Tara and Ōtautahi. The first Gay Pride week was also held in 1972, the beginning of Pride as we know it today with protests and community events.

50 years on, Pride in Tāmaki Makaurau has grown from the ten people who pioneered a movement and has continued to go from strength to strength. We all as queer people here in Aotearoa are a part of a Pride whakapapa that is expansive, complex and full of nuance. The past 50 years has seen our community navigate the AIDS pandemic, law reform for homosexual men and for sex wokers, marriage equality, as well as the conversion therapy and BDMRR bills which had our community go into battle once more this year. We have many more legislative and social challenges ahead of us, not just in Aotearoa but across the moana to liberate us all from regressive colonial-era laws that discriminate against our communities.

We have a rich whakapapa of resistance, protest, and pushing for equity. We have used our joy as a form of resistance through our hero parties and parades to celebrate ourselves unapologetically. Our shared histories are vast and interconnected. 

Together, we hope to create a Festival that creates opportunities to learn more of  our whakapapa, honouring the mahi that our elders have done to pave the foundations for us all to continue the legacy of building and creating a reality that sees all of the intersects of our community get to a place of thriving.