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Rainbow appears in the city centre overnight

Tuesday 21 December 2021

Last night the red crossing areas on Gladstone Road had their annual re-paint, with one chosen to spread a bit of extra joy this Christmas and in 2022.

The crossing area between Cotton On Kids and Postie Plus has been painted in the colours of the rainbow.

Council Chief Executive Nedine Thatcher Swann says the new-look crossing adds colour and vibrancy to our CBD leading into Christmas but also has a serious message.

“At Council we support the LGBTQIA+ community and we celebrate diversity.

“We know children will also enjoy the different colours and it makes our city centre a bit more fun to shop in.”

Ms Thatcher Swann says the painting aligned with the re-paint of the red crossing areas, which is carried out every December.

A karakia was held at the newly painted crossing this morning led by Mayor Rehette Stoltz.

The idea to paint a rainbow on the road sprang from humble beginnings.

Last year Tairāwhiti Rainbow Collective asked Council if they would fly a rainbow flag for pride month in February.

The month brings awareness to the LGBTQIA+ community.

Mayor Stoltz fully supported the initiative and says the flag will continue to fly high outside Council every February.

“This kind of visibility of acceptance saves lives. We are very mindful of the struggle some of our young people face when there is no recognition for them as they explore their identities. Rainbows are representative of joy for everyone.”

Tairāwhiti Rainbow Collective Chair Dr Jill Chrisp wrote to Council to thank them for their support.

“The crossing will be a symbol of inclusion and an acknowledgment by our region’s leaders that LGBTQIA+ people are valued and celebrated members of our community.

“It is also likely to be a fun feature on the main street that will appeal to all.

“We are immensely proud Council agreed to fly the rainbow flag during Pride month 2021 with the support of Her Worship the Mayor Rehette Stoltz. We are even more proud Council is now taking this step. Ngā mihi ki a koutou katoa.”