South Auckland street workers in turf war

By Andrew Koubaridis


A South Auckland prostitution spot has become embroiled in turf battles between local workers and those travelling from as far as Christchurch and Tokoroa to earn up to $1000 a night, says a crime prevention officer.


The out-of-town sex workers sometimes make up half the 30 or so working in and around Hunters Corner in Papatoetoe, with their presence leading to fighting and increased hostility.


Community worker Kehi Moana Fameitau said he had noticed the increase in his role as a local crime prevention officer.


"They have some from Christchurch, Tokoroa, Hamilton and Tauranga. From Christchurch there must be six of them and Hamilton they have [at least] five men, fa'afafine."


The behaviour had become so brazen they often walked up to cars and propositioned men, despite them being with their families.


Mr Fameitau said the local prostitutes were not happy about the intrusion and were clashing with the out-of-towners.


"There was a big fight last Saturday between the girls and the fa'afafine.


Six men and four ladies were fighting."


He claimed prostitutes could earn up to $1000 in a day thanks to a steady supply of customers.


"They [tell me] there are more customers here."


He said the local workers knew not to trade between 7am and 9pm, an informal agreement which had been in place since 2009.


"But the new ones, they come here earlier in the morning and walk around in front of people and trying to stop cars."


Children on their way to school were being exposed to prostitutes waiting in bus stops wearing g-strings,"and they can see everything".


The workers are hostile to advice, he added. "They say to me 'no, we are allowed to be on the street' and I tell them of the times they shouldn't be there, because of the public and business hours, and they say 'we are from Hamilton or Christchurch and we will stay here all day and all night'."


Hunters Corner Town Centre Society chairman Pat Taylor said: "Our position is we have to accept that it is a legal business but these people should have to comply with exactly the same rules and regulations that every other business complies with. We can't just set up our business in the main street at Hunters Corner, we can't operate noisy business at 2am that affects others around us."


The society wanted to see progress on the Auckland Council bill before Parliament that would alter the Prostitution Reform Act to allow bylaws banning street prostitution.


The bill has gone to a select committee before its second reading.

- THE AUCKLANDER

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