Fisting festival KIWIFIST, programmed as part of Auckland Pride Festival, has had a boost in publicity after a ratepayers organisation sent out a press release falsely claiming that Auckland Council were sponsoring the event.
KIWIFIST is “New Zealand’s biggest arse-play event… A full-on, five-hour-plus, gathering of gay and bi men into fisting and arse-play big-time!”
The Auckland Ratepayers Alliance sent out a press release on February 1 detailing false information about the event and it’s connection to Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), part of the Auckland Council.
Spokesperson Jo Holmes falsely claimed that tax payer’s money was going to the event.
She said “Sex parties do not benefit the general ratepayer,” and that as a gay person she can “see no justification at all for ATEED to be sponsoring an event like KIWIFIST”.
Auckland Pride Festival receives $45,000 from ATEED, part of the Auckland Council, however, it is used exclusively for the Pride Parade.
ATEED has no association with KIWIFIST or any other Pride event other than the Parade.
Steve Armitage, General Manager Destination of ATEED says “ATEED invests $45,000 in the Auckland Pride Parade, on behalf of Auckland Council, as part of the Auckland Major Events Portfolio. This is a specific investment in the parade rather than the wider festival.
The KIWIFIST and ATEED logo don’t appear together on promotional material and the event page on the Pride website only featured the two together – with the ATEED logo at the bottom of the page if you were to specifically search “sexuality”. This has now been fixed and the ATEED logo only appears on the page if you are looking at the Parade event page.
KIWIFIST became the Auckland Pride Festival’s most-searched event of the day on February 1, following the press release sent out by The Auckland Ratepayers Alliance.