New Zealand airport paints massive LGBT rainbow by runway for Pride

An Instagram photo from Wellington Airport of the gigantic rainbow painted ahead of the Wellington Pride Festival

Wellington Airport in New Zealand has painted a huge LGBT+ rainbow next to its runway in celebration of Pride.

The display of LGBT+ support covers 3,000 square metres of the grass embankment which borders the runway, meaning that visitors will easily be able to spot it when they fly in.

It was created in honour of Wellington Pride and the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) world conference, both of which will take place in the capital city during March.

A photo of Wellington Airport and its giant rainbow from the air

The rainbow as seen from a plane in Wellington. (nic.janeward/instagram)

The airport rainbow, which took three days to paint, is expected to last up to four weeks, according to New Zealand news site Stuff.

Politicians and activists welcome airport rainbow

Roxy Coervers, a Wellington Pride Festival board member, told Stuff that the rainbow demonstrated the accepting nature of Wellington.

“To my knowledge, it’s the largest scale painted rainbow in honour of Pride in New Zealand,” Coervers said.

“The festival team is excited to have this very powerful and visual display of solidarity for LGBTQIAF+ folks during our yearly celebrations,” they added.

“The airport rainbow will be the first many ILGA attendees see and I am sure it will make them feel welcome.”

— Wellington Mayor Justin Lester

The mayor of Wellington, Justin Lester, said the rainbow proved that New Zealand’s capital was “one of the most inclusive cities on the planet.”

He added: “Last year we painted the rainbow crossing on Dixon Street—it’s not quite as big—to show how we embrace everyone.

“The airport rainbow will be the first many ILGA attendees see and I am sure it will make them feel welcome.”

Wellington Airport chief executive Steve Sanderson said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming those attending the events and being part of the celebration of diversity and inclusion around the capital.

“Wellington Airport is a sponsor of the ILGA conference and proud supporter of community events like the Wellington Pride Festival, which was a runner-up in the arts and culture category of the Wellington Airport Community Awards for 2018.”

Wellington Airport is not the first to paint a rainbow for Pride

Wellington Airport’s rainbow is the latest example of a city using a painted rainbow to mark Pride.

Last year, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo reacted to rainbow crossings in the city being vandalised twice in a week with homophobic graffiti by making them permanent.

Just days later, two zebra crossings in Phoenix, Arizona, were permanently painted with Pride colours.