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Meet the Board Candidates

Frances Arns (she/her)

I'm a cis, bi woman with pākehā and German heritage. I call Tāmaki Makaurau home and have lived here most of my life, with two brief stints elsewhere - Havelock North for high school (not sure if that counts?) and Sydney for an adventurous 6 month student exchange (I applied for Canada but was offered Sydney and took it lol). I live in Mount Eden with my partner Liam and 0 pets.

Why do you want to serve on the Auckland Pride Board?

I'm excited about the growth and evolution of Auckland Pride over the last few years. I want to support the organisation to build strong governance and sustainability in the way it operates.

What skills, knowledge, and world views do you bring?

I have a background in strategy, accounting, service design and organisational leadership. I've been working and volunteering with rainbow communities since 2016, and was the Executive Director at RainbowYOUTH from 2017-2021. As tangata Tiriti I am committed to finding and building ways to honour Te Tiriti and support cultural responsiveness in all spaces I occupy. I have helped to develop approaches to cultural responsiveness and Te Tiriti o Waitangi in organisations I've worked with.

Catherine Anderson (they/them)

Kia ora, I’m Catherine (they/them) born and raised in Tāmaki Makarau. I work in public health and am working towards my masters in public health. The queer community took me in when I needed it most, and I want to give back by serving communities on the board. I’m disabled and am really passionate about pride being accessible for all, and would love to work with the disabled queer community to ensure that we all go forward together.

Why do you want to serve on the Auckland Pride Board?
I want to give back to the community in a way that supports others to do meaningful mahi. I think the Auckland Pride Board is a great way to do this.

What skills, knowledge, and world views do you bring?
I’ve recently left my position at an LBGTQIA+ organisation after 2.5 years and am now working in the public health space and working towards my masters in public health. I’m passionate about queer people being seen, heard, and respected in health care settings and have experience advocating for this through my previous role and through my masters.

I also have lived experience as a queer disabled person, and see where disabled voices need to be highlighted and heard within the pride setting, I want to bring my connections and voices of disabled people to the table.
I have board experience, from 2014-2016 I was on the board of the student union at AUT, and for the 2016 term, I was on the governing board, where we made high-level governance decisions. I also have experience working in an organisation with a board that determined our strategic direction.

As a Pākehā, it's vital that Māori voices remain at the forefront of all conversations and dictate the direction of Auckland Pride. Honoring Te Tiriti must be the main goal, with Pākehā doing the mahi we need to to progress this, while uplifting Māori voices and having Māori lead the mahi.

Bhenjamin Goodsir

Kia ora koutou, My name is Bhenjamin, I am queer and Pākehā, and after being a member of Auckland Pride for the last four years, I would like to put myself forward this year to be a member of the board.

I have grown up in Tāmaki Makaurau – going to both school and University here – and I now work as a Financial Risk Consultant in the City Centre. In my free time, I can often be found getting coffee and browsing the op-shops along Karangahape Road, hanging out with my flatmates and our half-feral cat, and doing what I can to support progressive change in our City, and the activists fighting for it.

Why do you want to serve on the Auckland Pride Board?

Every year, Auckland Pride is a chance to celebrate queer excellence and the incredible diversity of the Rainbow Communities in Aotearoa. But I also think Auckland Pride plays an important role in providing a platform for activism and solidarity across the rainbow communities. I first joined Auckland Pride in 2018 to vote at the SGM in support of the Board in deciding to ask the Police not to attend the festival in uniform.

I see Auckland Pride as being driven by its values, and by the legacy of activism that drove change in both the 1980s and in 2018. We are once again seeing rising tides of homophobia and transphobia both overseas and locally, with attempts to single our parts of the rainbow community for attack, and I think the kaupapa and values of Auckland Pride are really important for building the community connections needed for solidarity and change.

I would love to be able to use my skills to uplift Rainbow communities and support Auckland Pride in continuing its legacy of activism. I know there’s a lot of legal compliance and financial work on a board that needs doing, but isn’t always that exciting. My hope is that I could use my skills on the board in the Treasurer role to help take care of some of these details, and free the Board up to confidently pursue its kaupapa.

What skills, knowledge, and world views do you bring?

At university I studied law, and although I don’t currently practice law, much of my day to day work is focussed on legal risk and compliance, which means that I’d bring a focus on managing and pre-empting risks to Pride. With these skills I would be able to help the Board with things like employment or sponsorship agreements, and understanding banking and audit requirements.

I have previous experience as a charity officer, and charitable trustee for a number of similarly sized organisations, and in particular I have experience with the type of constitutional reform that may be required to align Auckland Pride’s constitution with the new Incorporated Societies Act.

While my world view is informed by my upbringing in a middle class, Pākehā family in Waitakere, I try to work hard to expand my understanding of different perspectives through learning and listening. I am very fortunate that through my law degree I was able to learn about the history of Te Tiriti, and in particular, learn from Māori academics on these issues. I am committed to honouring and upholding Te Tiriti. For me that looks like continuing to do the work to read and learn about Te Tiriti and te ao Māori, so that I am not placing that burden on the Māori members of the board.

I believe it is important to make decisions based on our values, and the values that are most important to me in my personal life are integrity, equity, hospitality (manaakitanga), and the belief that change for the better is always possible.

Quack Pirihi

Ko Ngāpuhu, Ko Ngati Porou, Ko Ngāti Wai, oku iwi. No Takahiwai ahau, Kei Tamaki Makaurau ahau. Ko Quack Pirihi toku ingoa. 20 oku tau. Kia Ora! My name is Quack, I am a Takatāpui, Non-Binary, Cheeky unapologetic creative. I work for Rangatahi. Through kaupapa Māori, rangatahi advocacy, and being an annoying presence in Non Māori spaces - I carry mahi that enhances the mana of my hāpori. #LANDBACK #RANGATAHIFOREVER

Why do you want to serve on the Auckland Pride Board?

I am annoying. I am Pro Māori, I am Pro Te Tiriti, Pro ANY Kaupapa that enhances the mana of my people. I don't settle for 'māori representation through a karakia'. I don't settle for a 'tautoko of the land we are on'. Auckland Pride MUST be unapologetically vocal about being Pro Māori - there is a large diverse community in Tamaki that doesn't get represented in large queer organisations, and at a governance level I want to be that voice. Theres more to Pride than Drag Shows and clubbing. Mana Motuhake should ensure everyone is able to take part in issues that affect everybody - representation on the board should reflect that. #SOUTHAUCKLANDISJUSTASQUEER Also.. We have the largest ethnic polynesian population in the world - Why are we still called AUCKLAND Pride?

What skills, knowledge, and world views do you bring?

It's quite odd when I get asked what my skills are, as if they are seperate to my identity. Skills are not qualities I can seperate from myself, they are a cog in a machine of Positive Practice. Engari, kei te pai.

I grew up in East Auckland in Panmure where I was bullied for acting gay. I was bullied in and outside of high school through the narrow corridors of Instagram DM's. I rejected my Queerness, as the people around me rejected me too. I should have a tohu from a construction company for how long I spent in the closet, this lived experience allows me to connect with rangatahi navigating fluidity in identity.

Growing up Pohara, and working in the Māori spaces I do now, I understand the importance on whānau based community support - we are a collective of people who need awhi, and my governance will reflect that. I'm Takatāpui, Non Binary, and a professional haututu.

All these different experiences contribute to how I would be able to govern through my ability to center the collective always. Pride is Beautiful, but it can be Ataahua.

World Views:

Rangatahi are our future. Māori never ceeded sovereignty. This has always been, and will always be Māori land. Ngāpuhi aren't that bad once you get to know them. Our country was founded on abuse - genuine reperations ensure equity. Pride Organisations need to be led by Māori and Pasifika communities. Land Back is climate justice. #TAKATĀPUISUPREMACY

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