INDEPENDENT NEWS

Xmas Parade Is About Celebration

Published: Fri 22 Nov 2002 12:10 AM
Xmas Parade Is About Celebration
Debate over whether SPUC (Society for the Protection of the Unborn Child) should or shouldn’t be allowed to take part in Hutt City’s annual Christmas Parade obscures the fact that the parade is a community event put on for the enjoyment of children and their families, said Hutt City Mayor John Terris.
“The parade is intended to be a community event to celebrate the spirit of Christmas and should involve as many people as possible – we do not want to stop anyone from taking part,” said Mayor Terris.
“I would not be comfortable with seeing the parade ‘politicised’ by any group seeking to promote awareness of themselves, and I am sure that the organisation concerned recognises that their cause would not be helped if they were insensitive to those with differing views.”
“Having said that, no-one wants to engage in censorship and we want to encourage participation from as broad a cross-section of the community as possible.
“I was not consulted before the original decision to ban the float was made but, when rung by the organisers, I stressed the need for an inclusive approach rather than one that sought to exclude.”
Westside Studios, the company organising the event, has said it will meet with SPUC and discuss the nature of their float and what they intend to display.
“I understand that Westside will view SPUC’s ideas for its float ‘through the eyes of five year old’ to determine whether it is appropriate for the parade,” said Mayor Terris.

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