Thank you for taking the time to meet with our representative recently and for your application for Department of Corrections staff and allies to participate in the Auckland Pride Parade 2017.
The Auckland Pride Festival Board has reviewed your application and the supporting material contained in [name withheld]'s email in the context of the discussions that were held between the Board and Corrections around the last event.
The board is conscious that this has been a challenging year for the department and, on these grounds alone, we can appreciate why many of the discussion points raised earlier this year have been slow to progress. We are particularly conscious that the promised Transgender Prisoner Policy has not been forthcoming despite statements to the contrary appearing in the gay media. We would be especially keen, when this draft document is complete, to consult with our communities in ways that may assist you in formulating the final department policy.
Through our conversations last year, it was clearly understood by both parties that Corrections participation in the Auckland Pride Parade would be based on Corrections' ability to demonstrate significant progress in the conditions for transgender prisoners. To facilitate this process the Auckland Pride Festival board recommends the following course of action for 2017:
That Corrections withdraw your application to participate in the 2017 Auckland Pride Parade with a view to engaging in further consultation throughout 2017, the aim being to find mutually agreed ways in which the interests of LGBTIQ+ staff, prisoners and parolees can be progressed and where the Auckland Pride Festival Board and representatives of the Department can find further ways in which to work productively together.
This is the unanimous recommendation of the Auckland Pride Festival Board.
The Board acknowledges the willingness of the Department of Corrections to consult with a wide range of community organizations and would welcome being included on the list submitted.
The Board would also respectfully suggest that the Auckland City Rainbow Communities Advisory Panel be added to the community organisations to be consulted as this group is made up of representatives from across the rainbow communities and already has productive working relationships with NZ Police and other relevant government departments.
I'm sure you will appreciate the benefits to both parties of agreeing to our recommendation. We would find no need to discuss the back story to your decision with any third party beyond saying that we fully support your decision, that we value the consultation that has taken place and look forward to furthering our relationship in 2017.
Should you have members who would like to participate in the parade as individuals they would be welcome to march with either NZAF or with the Auckland University of Technology team. We look forward to your decision.
Naku noa, na,