We’re bent but we’re not broken!

Although 2021’s Paekākāriki Pride festivities have been cancelled due to Covid-19 Level 2, the newly formed Paekākāriki Pride Inc Committee is determined to connect and celebrate people for pride. Val Little lets us know what is happening and how you can be involved.

Paekākāriki Pride Parade. Photo: Jaq Lynch

As Aotearoa/New Zealand faces its first summer with the uncertainty that a global pandemic presents, organisers of the annual Paekākāriki Pride Festival won’t let that stop them from celebrating and connecting people for pride.

Pat McIntosh, one of the organisers says: “Famous queer icon Dolly Parton once said, “If you want a rainbow you gotta put up with the rain”. We feel like that’s what this year’s festival is about, with all the uncertainty, fear and risks of having large gatherings we’ve had to change things up. But all is not lost.”

The newly formed Paekākāriki Pride Inc Committee has made the difficult decision to cancel the large-scale events such as the parade, the dance, the dog show and family picnic in the interests of public and community safety. Instead they’ve come up with a genius plan to celebrate pride in all its forms with a local ‘Beautification Project’, where they invite the village people of Paekākāriki to decorate their place, pets and people over the month of October with a chance to win prizes while supporting LGBTTQIA+ youth initiatives.

A Rainbow in the Village: Paekākāriki Pride Parade- Project Youth. Photo: Jaq Lynch

While the committee is disappointed they’ve had to make this decision, they recognise the importance of keeping their communities, villagers and public safe.  Val Little from the committee says, “The purpose of our small but perfectly formed festival is to create safe and inclusive spaces where folks can connect and celebrate our wonderful Rainbow identities, communities, histories and vision for our futures.  One of the most important elements is the ability to hold gatherings where people can meet, mingle, hug, and connect.  We realise the danger to the health and safety of our communities of being in close proximity to one another at this time.” 

Despite the drastic change to this year’s festival, the committee is excited to see what the creative folks of Paekākāriki come up with in the DIY, stay-at-home festival.  “This is the realities of the world we live in at the moment”, says Justine Ward, Youth and School Liaison. “We’ve had to be creative and think outside the square this year. There’s a really great whakatauki (proverb) that goes: Kawhanawhana ai te tīwhanawhana o Kahukura i te rāngi: Let the arch of the rainbow glisten.  We’re expecting to see a whole lot of glistening in the village this year!”

One certainty is that despite the effects of Covid-19 on festivals and gatherings, pride in our Rainbow communities doesn’t go away. 

Paekākāriki Pride Festival 2021 presents … Paekākāriki Pride Beautification Project

Prizes to be won! 

Where: Paekākāriki Village
When: All of October
Cost: Absolutely free!

We invite you, the folks of Paekākāriki, to create a Rainbow in the village by decorating your property, business, pets and people with rainbow colours and symbols to show YOUR Pride in the village.

My place – could be your letterbox, shed, fence, garden, house, window, or anywhere on your property that you can build, paint, create artworks.
Pets – dress up your four-legged, feathered or fishy whanau
Business – your shopfront, window, signage, product display
In the village – could be sand art, temporary, legal art works around the village
Groups – enter as a community group – Scouts, school, playcentre, radio station, surf club etc
People – go all OUT with the wackiest, most-colourful Pride outfit.  Extra points for matching families and pets.

How to enter:
Create your version of what Pride in the village looks like.
Take a photo of it.
Upload the photo to our Facebook or Instagram pages or email us at [email protected]  with a description of your creation, and which category you’re entering.
Competition closes 31 October when judging takes place. 
Winners announced the week beginning 1st November.
Note:  This is NOT a photography competition.  We require your photos so we can share your entry on our pages.


  • You can enter as many times and in as many categories as you like
  • We encourage you to reuse, recycle, borrow and collaborate
  • No correspondence will be entered into
  • We are open to bribes (joking)
  • Entries must comply with Covid-19 settings and be lawful

If you’d like to make a donation to Paekākāriki Pride Festival 2021 our bank account details are: Paekakariki Pride Inc 38-9022-0615920-00.  All donations will be divided evenly between: Kapiti Youth Services (KYS) – Project Youth, Paekākāriki School for Rainbow resources, and towards next year’s Paekākāriki Pride Festival. 

Facebook event: https://fb.me/e/5SzRun7Qo

Contact Val Little for further information:
M: 021846399
E: [email protected]

Paekākāriki.nz is a community-built, funded and run website. All funds go to weekly running costs, with huge amounts of professional work donated behind the scenes.  If you can help financially, at a time when many supporting local businesses are hurting, we have launched a donation gateway.