Front of the Parade for Diversity and Inclusion

For the first time, over sixty Coke NZ staff, families and friends paraded down Ponsonby Road on Saturday night at the Auckland Pride Parade accompanied by a three piece band, 12m float and a plethora of colourful hoola-hoops, bikes and bouncy balls.

For the first time, over sixty Coke NZ staff, families and friends paraded down Ponsonby Road on Saturday night at the Auckland Pride Parade accompanied by a three piece band, 12m float and a plethora of colourful hoola-hoops, bikes and bouncy balls.

While Coca-Cola has proudly supported the LGBTI community globally through a range of creativities, such as Sydney’s Kings Cross pop-up rainbow Coca-Cola billboard, this year New Zealand jumped at the opportunity to enter a float into the procession through Ponsonby.

In a celebration of diversity, the float and participants made their way along the parade route from the Western Park to Three Lamps grooving and moving to upbeat tunes. The band, led by vocalist Josh Leys, was joined on board the float by several participants enjoying icy cold Coca-Cola on picnic tables and faux grass – a self-made ‘Coke Backyard’.

General Manager of Human Resource, Martin King, described the evening as the ultimate celebration with the highlight as seeing “staff, family and friends celebrating diversity on our fabulous float packed with high energy tunes, family friendly activities and having a good time!”

Our ‘paraders’ were from departments across the business, with family members starting as young as five years old. In keeping with the business’ emphasis on a ‘Zero Harm’ culture, eight marshals from Coke NZ kept participants safe and clear from the moving vehicle.

Represented by Coca-Cola Oceania and bottler Coca-Cola Amatil NZ (CCANZ), Coke NZ’s decision to partake was not only a sign of support for the local LGBTI community but also a mark of their dedication to creating a workplace founded on diversity and inclusivity.

“Being a diverse and inclusive workplace is something we all take great pride in, including our senior leaders. Martin King has been a key player in our support of the Pride Parade, but he also has the backing of the entire leadership team” says Andrew Hewett, Corporate Affairs Manager.

The parade came only one day after CCANZ was awarded with their official Rainbow Tick certification, following their accreditation last September. Received through an in-depth audit process, the accreditation recognised the business as being expressly inclusive of the LGBTI community. CCANZ was the first FMCG organisation in New Zealand to receive the tick.