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UniQ calls on Westpac to withdraw sponsorship

10 January 2006

UniQ calls on Westpac to withdraw sponsorship to Wellington Stadium

UniQ Victoria, the support group for Victoria University of Wellington’s support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) students is calling on Westpac to drop its sponsorship of Wellington’s Stadium following comments from Stadium Trust chef executive David Gray in Tuesday’s Dominion Post. The comments were about the “same-sex kiss incident” at a cricket match at McLean Park, Napier on Sunday, where two women were threatened with eviction from the park by a security guard after their kiss was broadcast to a cheering crowd on the big-screen monitor.

Although Central Districts Cricket Association chief executive Blair Furlong publicly apologised for the guard's behaviour, Gray said that if similar behaviour happened in Wellington security staff would be instructed to intervene as a matter of policy.

"We would not accept that that's something that should be broadcast on the screen. At a family stadium it's not appropriate and we would instruct our operators accordingly. We're there to entertain the crowd and show the game on the screen."
– David Gray, Dominion Post, 10 January 2006

UniQ Victoria President Paul Brown says this is highly offensive and blatantly homophobic as they would not do the same if it involved a different-sex couple.

“What’s worse is that the Stadium’s sponsor, Westpac, is a corporate member of the Gay Auckland Business Association (GABA) and its sponsorship policy, on its website states that ‘Westpac is committed to supporting the communities in which we operate, and our sponsorship activities are as diverse as our customers’,” says Paul.

“The site then lists several key considerations for sponsorship including that the sponsorship reflects the diverse nature of our country and is accessible to all New Zealanders.

“Clearly the Westpac Stadium in Wellington is not abiding by Westpac’s sponsorship rules. It’s for this reason that I believe Westpac should reconsider its sponsorship of Wellington’s Stadium,” says Paul

UniQ Victoria is encouraging all who agree with them to contact Westpac’s Sponsorship Manager Kate Kristiansen and voice their opinion. Kate can be reached on kate_kristiansen@westpac.co.nz or (09) 367 3516 or 0800 400 600.

Westpac’s sponsorship policy:
http://www.westpac.co.nz/olcontent/olcontent.nsf/Content/Sponsorship+applicationswww.westpac.co.nz

ENDS

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