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Auckland or Wellington?

Posted in: Our Communities
By - 12th January 2012


Is Auckland or Wellington New Zealand's gay capital? We asked a selection of people from both cities, and the resulting answers have left us just as undecided as we were before we asked! 

Andy Boreham, from, Wellington
Wellington is definitely the capital of gay New Zealand, for a number of reasons. We're the cultural capital of Aotearoa, which instantly makes us the gay capital as well — how many straight people do you know who work in theatre?! We have more cafés per head of population than New York City, and we all know gays support the café industry. For such a small population we have two gay saunas and two gay bars. Wellington is one of the few current strongholds of Labour, which goes without saying. Wellingtonians on average earn more than Aucklanders, which is probably because there are so many gays who love to shop so much. We are better educated than the average New Zealander, which is obviously because there are so many gays here. And here's the nail in the coffin: We have a Green Mayor, while Auckland spawned John Banks.

Steven Oates, DJ and MC, Auckland
I really think it is a tie. Auckland has a more visible gay community by default of being the bigger city, but Wellington punches above its weight. Wellington had a very successful AsiaPacific Outgames, it's more politically charged and led the way with the Civil Union bill etc. Carmen’s International Coffee Lounge is still talked about, Out in the Square etc means Wellington is hugely significant for its size.

Christophe Jannin-Powell, artist, Auckland
I definitely think it's Auckland. It has a living community full of diversity, lots of bars, venues and events.

Anne Speir, comedian, Auckland
Wellington because it's more than bars ... Thinking counts down there

Chaz Harris, blogger and filmmaker, Wellington
All the cool gay people are in Wellington, even if the clubs/bars aren't ;)

Karen Ritchie, Cartier Trust, Auckland
I think Auckland is, but I guess that's because I know where to go and have fun.

Buckwheat, drag diva, Auckland
Auckland purely due to population base. More gays in Auckland, more gay things to do... Doesn't
mean Wellington hasn't got great things to do for gay folk... More in Auckland....

Tony Reed, Rainbow Wellington
Well, it is certainly not Auckland, a city which apparently cheered the PM last year for saying his Government had not put the clock back on our rights! Please don't do that again.

Bill Logan, longtime activist, Wellington
Auckland: Tinseltown. Wellington: Petrograd.

Verdict? We love both! And we can't wait for Wellington's upcoming big gay Anniversary Weekend! Click here for more on why the capital is the place to be on 21-22 January. And click here to win tickets to the gay dance party Glitter. - 12th January 2012

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