The Prime Minister of New Zealand is among the country’s political leaders who have confirmed they will attend the Big Gay Out family picnic day in Auckland this weekend.

John Key was elected in November, the first National Party government since 1999.

He had attended the picnic twice as party leader, but this will be his first visit as Prime Minister.

The Labour party leader Phil Goff will also attend Big Gay Out, New Zealand’s largest outdoor GLBT family event attended by more than 10,000 people.

“Labour MPs, including former Prime Minister Helen Clark, have been a regular fixture of the event since its inception nine years ago,” reports GayNZ.com

“Back in 2007, Key’s first appearance at the Big Gay Out prompted criticism in Parliament, when Labour’s Annette King accused the National leader if showing a narrow attitude to gay people by wearing a pink shirt to the event.”

During Labour’s nine years in office there has was progress on LGBT rights in New Zealand.

The Civil Unions Act passed into law in 2004 and the abolition of discriminatory measures against same sex couples became law in 2005.