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Paekakariki Pride Festival 2017

Press release

A Rainbow in the Village 2017

“Make Wellington’s queer events as big and shiny as they can be - there’s room for everyone.” These

were some of the last words of one of Wellington’s most iconic campaigners of the Wellington

LGBTQI+/queer/rainbow communities who passed away in June this year. Virginia Burns aka Virginia

Parker-Bowles, or V to her close friends and whanau - event organiser, community mobiliser and

glamour queen shared her vision of a unified, “sparkly”, strong queer community wherever and

whenever she had the chance. And in Labour Weekend this year, the rainbow communities of

Paekakariki realise that vision with the second Rainbow in the Village Pride Festival.

“We’ve grown this event following the success of last year’s debut Rainbow in the Village dance to

include a few other activities and make it more of a festival,” says Pat McIntosh, one of the

organisers and dj with Vinyl & Proud. “Paekakariki is a really progressive place and is the perfect

setting to celebrate the diversity of our rainbow communities.”

The festival includes drinks at Finn’s on the Friday night – a relaxed, low-key event for people to

meet and mingle; a parade on the Saturday night which will lead into the dance at St Peter’s Hall, a

brunch at The Perching Parrot Cafe and a movie on the Sunday. The dance is dedicated to the

memory of Virginia with a Glamour theme and proceeds will be donated to OuterSpaces – Te Kete o

Te Kāhui a registered charitable trust in New Zealand, which operates as the parent organisation for

four LGBTIQ+ youth groups based in Wellington.

The trust exists to coordinate, fundraise for, and support these groups, to help the volunteers run

these groups safely and sustainably, as per their values.

Virginia Burns - 3 August 1977 – 18 June


“V was an avid supporter of OuterSpaces so it makes sense to donate the proceeds from a dance

that is dedicated to her.” Says Val Little, another organiser. “New Zealand has one of the highest

suicide rates among young people in the world, and the statistics for our young gender and sexuality

diverse people are worsening. Organisations such as OuterSpaces provide vital support services for

our youth and work to chip away at the bigotry and discrimination in many of our mainstream

health, mental health and support systems. We need to make sure these organisations continue.”

According to Youth 2012, a major national survey of the health and well-being of secondary school

students carried out by the University of Auckland in 2012, almost half of queer youth had seriously

thought about taking their own life in the previous year.

One in five had attempted suicide, compared with one in 20 of their non-queer peers. Queer youth

were three times more likely to be bullied every week than their heterosexual peers and almost half

had been hit or hurt at school in the previous year.

One of the goals for this year’s festival is to hold the world’s shortest pride parade. “I’ve checked

out the Guinness Book of World Records website and can’t find anything, so I reckon we’ll have a

good chance to set the record”, says Val. “The parade is another fun way for us to raise awareness

about issues faced by the rainbow communities in Aotearoa, particularly those of our younger

community members. If we do get into the Guinness Book of Records it’ll be a coup for OuterSpaces

and the work they do.”

Chrissi Johnson, a Paekakariki local is selling hand-knitted rainbow hats especially for the event.

“Fight homophobia and misogyny with your Paekakariki Pride Pussyhat,´says Chrissi. I'm knitting

these fun Rainbow Pussyhats and $5 from every hat will be donated to OuterSpaces. ”

Paekakariki may be a small village in

Aotearoa but one thing for sure is that over

Labour Weekend it will be a sparkly,

glamorous, rainbow paradise for the LGBTQI+ communities which would make V proud.

Details for the Rainbow in the Village festival are:

 Friday 20 October 6pm – 10pm – Meet and mingle over drinks – Finn’s Bar and Restaurant

 Saturday 21 October 6pm – Pride Parade – details to be confirmed

 Saturday 21 October 7pm – midnight – Dance – St Peter’s Village Hall. Tickets available on

 Sunday 22 October All day – The Morning After Brunch – The Perching Parrot Cafe

 Sunday 23 October 3:30pm – Movie: Pride – Finn’s Cinema

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