Home' The Wellingtonian : June 9th 2011 Contents 12 THE WELLINGTONIAN, JUNE 9, 2011
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The man behind the protest
Andy Boreham: ''Apparently a lot of people at school knew I was gay, maybe before I did.''
Photo: JOSEPH ROMANOS
Joseph Romanos talks to
Wellywood protest organiser
Andy Boreham about being
gay, life in Cambodia and how
Peter Dunne might have (or
might not have) joined the
Were you a vocal opponent of the
airport's Wellywood plan last year?
I added my voice to the thousands who
were against it. I thought it was a dumb
idea, not representative of the creativity of
Wellington. We thought they'd listened and
had dropped the idea.
So when the idea resurfaced you
thought you should do more?
Exactly. I made my feelings known on
Facebook, but that wasn't enough. There
needed to be some sort of real-life demon-
What form did the protest take?
It was all organised very quickly. We
decided to drive very slowly around and
around the airport loop for an hour.
The speed limit leaving the drop-off point
is only 20kmh anyway. We probably went
10. I did three or four loops in an hour. By
the time we finished we had 80 or 100 cars
in the protest and had got to the point
where the front one was catching up to the
rear one. Other people were stuck in the
middle. Peter Dunne was there at one
point. I'm sure he enjoyed the protest.
Was it successful?
Yes. It wasn't nasty, but we drew atten-
tion to the issue. I was pleased Gaylene
Preston joined us. It was good having some-
one vocal from the film industry.
The airport company has decided to
take the matter to public consultation.
Is that because of your protest?
The city council's stance was very import-
ant. Even then it didn't seem as if the air-
port was listening and we had a second
protest planned. We were only an hour
away when the airport backed down. The
council stance gave the airport a face-
saving way out.
Was that an anti-climax for you?
Not at all. I was so pleased. I'm a univer-
sity student and was hoping [airport chief
executive] Steve Fitzgerald would back
down so I could sit my exams.
You clearly don't like Wellywood.
What would you like?
I actually like the idea of a giant weta.
What are you studying?
I'm in my first year, doing law and media
studies at Vic. I'm a late starter. I went to
the film school. I was in the first class in
Wellington, in 1999.
How did that go?
I like film-making, but discovered I'm
perhaps not suited to it. Film-making is a
collaborative effort, and I don't like relying
on other people. I'm a perfectionist and
want to do it all myself.
Where did you go to college?
Parkway in Wainuiomata. The school
doesn't exist now.
You're very active in the gay com-
munity. Had you come out when you
were at college?
No. I came out when I was 15, after I left
school. Apparently a lot of people at school
knew I was gay, maybe before I did.
How did your family take the news?
My mother was great. She said she
already knew and tried hard to be helpful,
to the point where it actually got embar-
What do you mean?
Well, early on we went into a bookshop
and she asked the person behind the coun-
ter quite loudly if they had any books for a
parent who'd just found out her son was
Did you suspect you were gay?
Looking back, the signs were there. I
never liked girls. There was one teacher. I
thought he'd be good for my mother, but
when I think back, maybe I liked him
You presented a radio show for some
Yes, I did a show every Sunday night on
Access Radio, and then on Munt FM [the
Massey University station]. It was a gay
and lesbian show -- debates, music, guests.
It was fun.
Are you very political?
I'm a member of the Labour and the
Green parties, and helped [Wellington Cen-
tral MP] Grant Robertson a little before the
last election. But I'd never organised a
You have helped organise the Wel-
lington Pride Festival and in particu-
lar the Out in the Square fair.
Yes, Out in the Square used to be at
Newtown School but we moved it to Civic
Square to be more visible. Hopefully it
shows that gay people are the same as any-
one else. It would be great if it got to the
stage where gay people walking down the
street holding hands was not a novelty. It
will happen, but not in my generation.
You've spent quite a bit of time in
Cambodia. What have you done there?
It's a really interesting place, so different
to New Zealand. People are very poor, but
happy. There's a lot of corruption. I worked
for an independent radio network, market-
ing and publicity, and helped to organise
the first Cambodian gay and lesbian pride
Are the Cambodians tolerant of
Not really. Apparently the king is gay,
but it's never spoken about. The first festi-
val we organised was almost underground,
but it has grown bigger and more public.
What do you like about Wellington?
It's small, we have everything, the people
are friendly -- it's the most gay-friendly city
in New Zealand. I like the food and arts, the
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