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NZ PM Jacinda Ardern Walks With Pride Parade
Pride on display as Auckland embraces rainbow colours (CCSS Level: Grade 7, Words: 313)
Feb 19, 2018 Culture & Entertainment

Ponsonby Road was lit up in every colour of the rainbow for the annual Pride Parade. Over 70 floats, including ones made by the rainbow community, political parties, universities and businesses, were on display to the more than 3,500 people who took part in the event. Prime minister Ardern joined the throng, while tens of thousands of people lined the streets to watch the action.

Ardern launched the parade by cutting the last of several rainbow ribbons shortly before 7:30pm. She is the first Prime Minister to walk in the event, marching alongside the Labour Party's red caravan. Addressing the crowd, Arden commented that the government walks beside the Rainbow community. "The event was a great opportunity to celebrate diversity and connect with young people", she said. "Significant mental health issues still existed within the young rainbow community. Bullying, a sense that you can't be who you are in certain environments - we do still need to be worried about that. Those people are growing up all over NZ. They needed to feel safe and supported." She added that the parade sent a strong message to those groups.

A one-of-a-kind, rainbow-coloured police patrol car made its debut, flanked by Police Commissioner Mike Bush. Police dogs, horses and motorbikes also featured. This year's parade was the largest yet, with between 25,000 and 30,000 people turning out to watch the revelry.

Parade producer Shaughan Woodcock also said it was "very exciting" to have Arden taking part. "The overall message is that we are being led by a progressive government, a government that stands for all groups, not just some," Woodcock said. "It also sends a very clear message outside of New Zealand that New Zealand is leading the way around basic human rights and human rights for our rainbow community, and that it is time for the other countries to step up."

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happening every year



simple, beginner level



a group that supplies goods or services to buyers



to do something enjoyable for a special event



a payment to an agent for services



a group of people who share interests



perform in public for the first time



place where something lives






something that stands out



the ruling body of a nation, state or community


free from illness or injury


containing, having as part of the whole



to send or shoot a rocket into outer space / to get moving



small, wingless, parasitic insects that live on the skin of mammals and birds



walking in a military manner, with a regular step



to do with the mind



a head of a government department



an important task, usually involving travel



possible to do something, a chance



of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country



moving forward to a better place



important, standing out from the rest



help, especially money



troubled or bothered about problems