At Countdown, everyone counts, and that's why they are proud to support the first Wellington Pride Parade. Lauren Voyce, General Manager Culture and People, said Countdown is currently working towards a Rainbow Tick accreditation as part of its ongoing commitment to LGBITQ+, and being part of the Pride Parade is another way of celebrating diversity within our team and communities.

“At Countdown, regardless of people’s age, ethnicity, beliefs, sexual orientation or gender identity, it is important that all our team feel respected and valued when they come to work with us.

“We’re one of the largest employers in the country and it’s our responsibility to ensure that we are leading our sector, introducing new and innovative policies for our team so that we continue to be a great place to work,“ said Voyce.

One of these initiatives was the introduction last year of the company’s Transgender Transitioning policy, which focuses on Countdown’s responsibilities as an employer to provide an inclusive environment, as well as practical assistance available for team who are transitioning gender.

“We were proud to be the first company in New Zealand to introduce a transitioning gender policy.  We have received so much positive feedback from our own teams and organisations within the LGBITQ+ community, and the important thing is that it’s being used and is helpful.”

For the first time, teams from eight Countdown stores in Wellington will have the opportunity to swap out their regular uniforms for brightly coloured t-shirts in a show of support for Pride on 10 March.

Wellingtonians in the city hub will also be able to catch a glimpse of Countdown’s delivery truck, which has transformed into colourful rainbow flags for the celebrations.

Countdown Wellington has several team members who are part of the rainbow community and Tahira Widlof the Group Manager is ensuring that, lots of the wider Countdown team will be able to be involved in the parade for the first time.

“We’ve put out an invitation to all our extended team here in Wellington, to come along and support our Wellington teams as well as joining in the celebrations of walking down Courtney Place as part of the festival,” she says.

The Countdown team will also be making sure that the Pride revellers will be well hydrated as they will be giving out bottled water and Red Bull as well as other goodies on the night.