Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Queenstown Police take pride in winter festival

Queenstown Police station has gone all out to show its support for the Winter Pride Festival.

The 10-day event is run across a number of venues in the area, including ski fields and is the largest event of its kind in the southern hemisphere, attracting thousands of visitors from across Aotearoa and overseas.

Queenstown Police have been long-time supporters of the annual festival, but this year they wanted to do something extra special to get behind the event.

Queenstown Diversity Liaison Officer, Alex Cully, teamed up with the crew from South Island Light Orchestra, who are renowned for their work in lighting up Queenstown for the LUMA Light Festival, to illuminate the station over the course of Winter Pride.

“It’s an event that we get behind every year, but this is the first time we’ve done something so visual,” says Alex.

“It’s kind of a spectacular way to really show off our support.”

The lighting display was set up, and a ‘switch on’ event was lined up to coincide with the opening of Winter Pride this weekend. Otago Lakes Central Area Commander, Paula Enoka was on hand to pull the lever alongside Alex, as well as the Director of Winter Pride, Martin King.

Martin says the rainbow light display on the station is an important signal of support for the rainbow community who have come together for Winter Pride.

“Having an organisation like Police supporting such an important kaupapa is really significant,” says Martin. “It says that our public institutions understand the importance of standing up for inclusion. And above all else, it looks amazing!

“I think it’s a beautiful statement to Queenstown, and gift to Queenstown, actually.”

Commander Enoka said that lighting up the station was a small gesture in an effort to make everyone attending Winter Pride feel welcome and safe over their time in Queenstown.

“For us, we want to be able to welcome every community to walk through the front doors of the station,” says Paula, “and if we can even show just the small support like this, and have people feel comfortable, it’s just fantastic.”

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