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Auckland Pride Calls For Restorative Justice After Karangahape Rd Rainbow Crossing Vandalism

Auckland Pride can trace its whakapapa back to the work of the queer activists who fought for our rights to be recognised, and knew that it was only through coming together as community that we could ensure those changes happened.

The legacy of their work lives on through Homosexual Law Reform, the Human Rights Act, Marriage Equality, and the ending of Conversion Practices - but there is still more work to do.

“The vandalism of the Rainbow Crossing on Karangahape Road highlights an undercurrent of hate towards Rainbow Communities in Aotearoa, an undercurrent which our justice system is not designed to address” says Auckland Pride Co-Chair Quack Pirihi. “To protect our communities and build an equitable Aotearoa where Takatāpui and Rainbow communities are liberated, thriving, and connected, we need community solutions.”

Auckland Pride is calling for a community-led restorative justice approach to responding to those responsible for painting over our crossing.

Restorative Justice Approaches bring together everyone affected by an incident of wrongdoing to collectively decide how to deal with incident and its implications for the future. Restorative Justice focuses on repairing relationships between victims, offenders, and the community while keeping in mind considerations of justice.

By their nature, criminal and court processes marginalise those who have been harmed and reflect the monocultural and colonial values on which the policing and court systems were founded. These colonial values are the same values which brought homophobia to Aotearoa, and Auckland Pride believes that colonial systems cannot help us solve fundamentally colonial problems.

“As a queer, community led organisation, we stand ready to work with and alongside those who are responsible to find a process of healing and restoration that can show that there’s a better way forward for our communities,” says Auckland Pride Co-Chair Bhenjamin Goodsir.

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