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Media Release

2 December 2016

New Auckland Pride Board Members Announced

With the Auckland Pride Festival just around the corner, the Board is pleased to announce a full complement of members.

“It’s satisfying that the skill sets of applicants has been of the highest order,” says Co-chair Kirsten Sibbit. “The Board isn’t just looking for members to hold down a place, but for people who have festival-related expertise and a drive to contribute to our communities. We believe we have the mix right and can’t wait to get fully underway.”

James Bennett recently resigned from the Board due to a personal tragedy in his life. “It is with sadness that I have decided to resign from Auckland Pride, as I’ve always felt it necessary and rewarding to serve the LGBTTQI communities that have supported me over the years,” says Bennett. “I’d like to thank those that have been there for me through what has been a rough few months, and would also like to wish Auckland Pride the very best for the upcoming season.”

The Board is pleased to announce three new members: Lexie Matheson, Sonya Apa Temata and Jaycee Tanuvasa.

Lexie Matheson, a founding member of the first Auckland Pride Board, has been reappointed and brings a wealth of event management and governance experience. Matheson was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) in the June Queen’s Birthday Honour’s List for services to LGBTQI human rights, education and the performing arts – and was, last week, re-appointed to the Auckland City Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel for a further three years.

“I feel honoured to have been appointed to the Board as Auckland Pride has always had a special place in my heart,” says Matheson, who directed the successful 2014 Auckland Pride Gala, and will co-produce the 2017 event with Festival Director Julian Cook.

New Board member Sonya Apa Temata brings a wealth of experience in rainbow community events and activism, and a vital health sector perspective. In addition, Temata brings both a Pacific and a Māori worldview to the Board.

“I am honoured and privileged to be working with so many diverse individuals and organisations within our communities,” says Temata. “I look forward to working with the Auckland Pride Board, our iti Tangata to be more inclusive and engaged with our Takatāpui, Pasefika Rainbow, LGTBI communities.”

Jaycee Tanuvasa brings considerable event experience as a producer, director, and performing artist with groups such as Fine Fatale and others, and adds an entrepreneurial Pacific flair to the Auckland Pride Board.

Jaycee joins Takatāpui representative Zakk d’Larté as an additional young member in acknowledgement of her skill-set, and the importance of ensuring that young people have a voice and can contribute to Auckland Pride at a governance level.

Tanuvasa is excited about being appointed to the board and believes that, “Membership of the Auckland Pride Broad is an awesome opportunity. To be a young transgender woman of colour on the Board is a great privilege, as I feel that representation and a voice for the communities I am part of will make us more visible than we are today, more included, and in my opinion, we need to be. I look forward to doing the best job I can as a member of the Board.”

Co-chair Kirsten Sibbitt says, “We believe this year’s Auckland Pride Festival has the potential to be the best yet, and we are confident that this Board will ensure the inclusive engagement of all of our communities”.

Note: You are viewing the website for the 2019 Auckland Pride Festival. Visit for the most current Festival website.

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