INDEPENDENT NEWS

February Hero Parade In Auckland Is Not Possible

Published: Tue 19 Oct 1999 09:06 PM
MEDIA RELEASE FROM HERO TRUST
The Hero Board of Trustees has announced today that a February Hero Parade
is not possible. Sean Lofts and Anne Speir, co-Chairs of the Board, today
announced plans for a late November 2000 date instead.
"After much consideration, it was decided unanimously that a Parade in
February 2000 was unachievable," the Chairs said. "By moving the date,
Hero is still able to organise a Parade in 2000, rather than facing the
reality of not having a Parade at all. Why should Hero miss out on
millenial celebrations due to fiscal restraints and unrealistic timeframes?"
"Previous Heroes have been praised for fabulosity, but have resulted in
serious financial problems, which reflect not only on Hero but on the gay,
lesbian and transgender communities as a whole. At the recent AGM, a
motion from the previous Trust to wind up the Hero organisation was
narrowly lost. Fiscal responsibility was at the core of that motion. The
new Board was elected to ensure the future of Hero and to learn from the
past."
The new Board has since that time been deliberating on the long-term
viability of Hero. "The Board sees Hero as encompassing much more than
just the Parade. Becoming a financially secure community based
organisation is essential, one that can provide the leadership and a public
face for the gay, lesbian and transgender communities."
"We cannot make any decision which would place the future of Hero in
jeopardy, financial or otherwise. For far too long, the Hero organisation
and those entrusted to its direction, have been vilified for their efforts
to make decisions in what they believe will be in the best interests of the
community. The current Trust wishes to take the time to secure long term
relationships with sponsors, community groups, and those who it is supposed
to represent. The Trust feels that moving the Parade to November allows
the organisation time to concentrate on a strategic plan that is fiscally
responsible, and enables time to re-connect with our communities."
"We have received proposals for alternative ways of holding the Parade in
February. None of these are viable and none allow Hero to achieve its
objectives."
"We have decided to hold a low cost "family"-based event in February
tentatively called the Big Gay Out. This will essentially be a daytime
pride celebration. The Trust in coming weeks will also release plans for
an annual calendar of events, each with a different focus and opportunity
to fundraise.
This Trust is fully committed to our communities realising a true sense of
pride, not only in ourselves, but in Hero as well. Hero is a gift to New
Zealand which, to everyone's benefit, the Trust must ensure continues into
the future.

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