Pride: You be you

Sunday 01 March 2020

When speaking to Gordy Lockhart, one of the organisers of the Tauranga Pride Picnic, he opens with a statement that

sums up Tauranga’s approach to LGBTQI rights: “It’s a bit scary to think that in 2019 we held our inaugural pride event

for Tauranga – horrifying and freeing at the same time.”

Yeap, conservative Tauranga is certainly a little bit behind the eight-ball, but times and attitudes are changing – which

is why organisers of the Pride Picnic get-together are back for 2020.

The first-ever event was sparked by a small group of passionate locals, instigated by a college student who had heard

about the gay nightclub shooting in Orlando (Pulse Nightclub), Florida and decided to take action with a protest march.

“Helen Alice, who is manager at Breast Cancer BOP, saw this and thought, ‘Let’s get a pride thing happening in the

Bay.’ So she got a board together of friends and compatriots, which included myself, and Pride 2019 came about,” says


The first event, as successful as it was, wasn’t without its challenges – “We learnt a bit about conservative ol

Tauranga,” says Gordy.

“We discovered in the lead up to the event that there were two schools, who shall remain nameless, who actively

encouraged kids not to attend. We’d also heard that there was an impression from some members of Tauranga City

Council who were questioning why we would need a pride event in Tauranga.

“It just confirmed that these prejudices still exist in modern day New Zealand, and that’s exactly why we need Pride


This year they’re going bigger and better. Spanning not one, but three days, Pride promises fun, festivities, live music,

performances and a celebration of you: who you are, who you want to be and want to be with.

“For last year’s event we thought, ‘What is pride to Tauranga’ and drag queens down Cameron Road might be a bit

much for Tauranga, so we landed on a picnic, something really family friendly,” says Gordy.

“This year we’ve turned it into a proper ‘Pride in the Park’ kind of thing with four main acts – our headliner Caitriona

Fallon and her full band, Ash Laforteza, Joe Emanuel and Stage Right Trust.

“We‘ll also have a special Zumba session with Zumba Tauranga (although strictly speaking, that’s a secret), with a

couple of drag queens and kings coming to get everyone moving. It’s a lot to pack into three hours, but it’s a real

concert style day out.”

There will also be speeches by Mayor Tenby Powell, Tamati Coffey MP for Waiariki electorate, and Otumoetai College

student Bailey Hocking, who also spoke at the launch event.

“The first Pride picnic turned into an amazing success,” says Gordy. “We had no idea until the actual day if it was going

to be a success, but we were overwhelmed by how good it was – especially the turn out of younger people.

“It was amazing to see kids being who they were born to be. That’s really what pride is about, to have that feeling of

pride in yourself.”

Free entry; all are welcome – come down and celebrate what Pride means to you!


Tauranga Pride Party

Saturday, March 7

Voodoo Lounge, 315 Maunganui Road

9pm – 1am


Tauranga Pride Picnic

Sunday, March 8

Edgewater Fan, The Strand, Tauranga

12pm – 3pm

BREAKOUT BOX: Games night!

Love boardgames? Looking to meet like-minded lovely people? BOP Pride is once again hosting a regular Games Night

at Tenpin Tauranga on 13 th Avenue.

There will be plenty of games to play, or feel free to bring your own, and come down for a fun, social and welcoming


Held every last Monday of the month at 6pm, March’s event is on Monday, March 9.

Check them out at