Hei Konā Rā Kōrua | Farewell Julia and Nathan

015A8631 Enhanced NR Large

Hei Konā Rā Kōrua, We send our deepest appreciation to Nathan and Julia. As you embark on new journeys, we express our admiration for your work, leadership, and creativity. You are both exceptional individuals who have made significant contributions to Auckland Pride, and to the wider arts community.

Throughout the immense task of delivering last years Auckland Pride Festival and the humbling duty of continuing to lead this organisation, it is with gratitude and honour that I reflect on our time together as a leadership team.

Nathan & Julia have always been two changemakers I have looked up to. 

Nathan’s poetry is as poignant as his passion for people. The care and manaakitanga shown within Dirty Passports was reflected ten-fold within his role as Creative Director at Auckland Pride. 

Through Pride Elevates the festival has seen a diverse lineup of over 65 artists and 21 distinctive works, ranging from voguing and poetry to improv comedy and experimental performance art. The programme not only showcased local talent from Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) but has also featured artists from other regions like Wellington, Christchurch, and even international contributors from Brussels​.

Thanks to Nathan, Pride Elevates has cemented itself as a staple of Auckland Pride’s curated arts and culture programme that resources artists with presentation fees and organisational support to deliver a work during the Auckland Pride Festival, in response to the annual festival theme. Elevates speaks to the need to resource and support artists at intimate scale, acknowledging the lack of opportunity for queer artists to create work through a queer lens. 

Pride Elevates is committed to fostering an inclusive and supportive environment for artists. This initiative not only enriches the festival but also contributes to the ongoing development of a vibrant and resilient queer arts ecosystem in Tāmaki Makaurau.

Julia, whilst being a world builder and performance master is to me a true intellect and rigorous thinker. She and Nathan grounded the organisation within Queer Theory and performance methodologies, her commitment to queering processes and collaborating meaningfully has cemented her as another one of my teachers and tuakana, of which there have been many - however seldom they are Christchurch born Dutch icons.

Her humour and intelligence will forever be held within the ever-growing library here at Auckland Pride.

Through FOLA Julia has deepened Aotearoa’s relationship with world class live artists, and her genre bending outlook continues to challenge and nourish me as a curator and leader. It is through her that Auckland Pride has been able to succinctly communicate many of its strengths, and her commitment to our identity has resulted in stronger organisation infrastructure.

Beyond the 2024 festival, Nathan & Julia’s impact is ongoing through their artistic contributions and the implementation of their strategic thinking within our new staffing structure. Having an Operations Manager & a Partnership Manager ensures that Auckland Pride is able to measure its growth through the deepening of relationships, the honouring of intentional practice and the needs highlighted by our members & wider whānau whānui. 

Continuing our shared vision, I reflect on their departure through the concluding statements in our co-Authored essay Tāwauwau | Paradise Myth

As we journey through the terrain of Aotearoa’s cultural identity, we are compelled to challenge our current contexts and demand more for ourselves and each other. The paradise we envision is not a singular, homogenous entity but a root system woven from countless lived experiences.

Koinei te mihi atu ki a kōrua, hei tuku aroha, hei mihi kau ana e. Haere tonu atu rā ki runga i tō kōrua ara pai. Ngā kōrua huatau, ngā kōrua ihumanea, ngā rangatira i te ao kiriata, i te ao toi hoki.

 He korero tēnei hei korowai mā kōrua i runga i tō haerenga. Kei te neke atu kōrua mai i a Auckland Pride ki te ao hurihuri. 

Kei te mihi, kei te mihi, kei mihi. 

Here we acknowledge these two graceful, intelligent arts leaders. We hope these words wrap around them like a korowai as they continue on their journey towards queer futurity, within the arts.

Julia and Nathan’s departure will be honoured on Sat July 13 through formal poroporoaki at our Auckland Pride office (281 Karangahape Road) RSVP by via this form.

We cannot wait to come together as Auckland Pride, in our fullest context - as community, membership and whanau - to bid farewell to these important members of our staff, who will always remain a deep part of who we are here at Auckland Pride. 

Hei kona rā - until soon.

Hāmiora Bailey and the Auckland Pride team

Artboard 2

"It has been such a joy and such a privilege to be a part of Auckland Pride for the past year. I am totally and utterly the better for the time spent with such incredible artists, community and supporters and I could not be prouder of the beautiful festival we delivered this year. 

The decision to step away was not an easy one, but I missed my arts practice and some important people in my life too much so I am in the process of packing up my life and heading to Melbourne to chase both. Auckland Pride is in about the best hands I could imagine, Hāmiora Bailey is one of my heroes and I have no doubt he will continue to deepen, refine and grow this special festival into the future. I cannot wait to come back next February to experience the festival from the other side. I have so so much love for the staff, the board and the beautiful community that have made the last year one of the highlights of my life.

It has been an honour."

Julia Croft

Artboard 4

"My time at Auckland Pride was met with challenges and opportunities in equal measure, but it has always been a space to grow and witness growth. To be challenged and to rise to challenges. I've come away a more socially conscious and engaged queer artist because of my time at Pride.

More committed to engaging in what it means to be queer. And knowing that it isn't a straightforward thing. That it's a sometimes humbling thing. That you are never automatically simply a part of a community. That it is something you must invest in. 

I have seen past and future generations of community-makers & artists come through, mingling and learning from each other. I have seen reminders that the queer community still needs to justify its existence. That the queer community still has needs. And that Pride might provide a balm for some of that. The need to take up space, the need to honour our pasts, and the need to understand who we were so that we might better know we are. Thank you for trusting me to serve those needs. 

Even for just a little while."