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RNZ News

New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon abruptly left the Big Gay Out festival in Auckland’s Point Chevalier today after being confronted by Gaza protesters.

The annual Pride event is being held today in Coyle Park as a celebration for Rainbow communities and their allies.

At a media standup this morning, Luxon said he was looking forward to going to the Big Gay Out and felt comfortable there.

“I went there last year. I loved it. Talk to the Rainbow community and what are they fixated on at the moment? Rebuilding the economy, restoring law and order, and delivering better health and education.”

Prime Minister Luxon leaves the Big Gay Out.  Video RNZ News

On his arrival, however, Luxon was mobbed by attendees protesting trans rights and the war on Gaza.

He began his visit by speaking to supporters, but attendees quickly gathered and followed him around the festival for at least five minutes.

RNZ political reporter Katie Scotcher said the exchanges became quite heated, with at least one attendee shouting directly in Luxon’s face.

Protesters were chanting “free Palestine” and “blood on your hands”. Placards said “No Pride in genocide” and “Israel can’t pinkwash out the lies anymore”.

Protesters gather around Christopher Luxon and Nicola Willis at the Big Gay Out.
Protesters gather around Prime Minister Christopher Luxon at the Big Gay Out today. Image: Katie Scotcher/RNZ

Defended coalition plans
After this morning’s State of the Nation speech, Luxon had defended the coalition government’s planned changes to sexuality and relationship education guidelines.

New Zealand First — one of the three coalition parties — had campaigned on removing “gender ideology” from the curriculum. The guidelines were first introduced in 2020 by then-NZ First MP and associate education minister Tracey Martin.

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