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Easier times: Winter Pride NZ organisers Martin King, left, and Mike Hughes before the 2018 event

By TRACEY ROXBURGH

Organisers of Queenstown’s Winter Pride New Zealand, to start next Friday, are holding on to hope.

Auckland-based Martin King tells Mountain Scene for now he and husband Mike Hughes are continuing to finalise details for the 10-day celebration, but have contingency plans in place.

One scenario would be for NZ to move back down to Alert Level 1 or even 2 and for Auckland to stay in full lockdown — in that event, the festival could still go ahead.

King says about 40% of the ticket-holders are Auckland-based, but the remainder are coming from across NZ.

‘‘We’ve got people coming from New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Tauranga, Hamilton, Whakatane — it’s a national festival.

‘‘That’s the dilemma — if people are coming from Hamilton and they can get there, we’ll do our darndest to put on a fabulous festival, and I think Queenstown will do the same.

‘‘We want to welcome as many people who can be there, safely, to celebrate as we can.’’

That said, some larger events, including Pride in the Park, would have to be cancelled in that situation, while other larger parties planned at the Queenstown Memorial Centre may look to be postponed.

However, if NZ stays in Level 4, or even drops to Level 3, King admits ‘‘we would have no choice’’.

‘‘It would have to be largely cancelled and maybe some postponed events at a later time, but it would only be a minimal number.

‘‘The thing we always say is that Pride goes on.

‘‘The flags are up … people can do lots of stuff, it just might mean you can’t have a dance party, but that doesn’t mean it’s not Pride.

‘‘Roll out the rainbow, we’ve got 300 flags at Westpac going like crazy and people can go and get them for free — there’s going to be more rainbow flags this year in Queenstown than ever, it can, hopefully, still happen.

‘‘That’s awareness-raising and engagement with people around Pride and why Pride’s important.’’

tracey.roxburgh@scene.co.nz