Sex trade entrepreneurs John and Michael Chow have opened a new downtown Auckland brothel, one in Wellington and are planning another in Auckland.
Ahead of building the country's first high-rise brothel on the ex-Palace Hotel site in Auckland later this year, the brothers opened The Galaxy Club which they said was their first in the city, employing 80 to 120 women aged from 18 to the early 40s.
"We spent $4 million on the fitout and strengthening the building which we bought two years ago," Michael Chow said.
The Galaxy is above the Mermaid Bar in Gore St in the backpacker area, two blocks from Queen St and the waterfront.
Chow said Chow Group also owned the Mermaid strip club.
The Chows have consent for New Zealand's first tower brothel opposite the Sky Tower on the corner of Federal St and Victoria St West, where work is to start later this year on a 15-level block.
In Wellington, the Chows last month opened The Pure Platinum Club in Vivian St.
This had already been a great success, they claimed, with full houses in a place they are promoting as "perfect" for celebrating and being entertained.
Monsignor David Tonks, pastoral assistant to Catholic Bishop Patrick Dunn, has expressed concerns about more brothels.
"Brothels are places where the dignity and integrity of human beings is undermined," Tonks said. "People engage in sex as a physical activity, rather than as an expression of love, unity and respect."
The Prostitutes' Collective supported the expansion.
"It's unfortunate people make it so difficult for sex workers to find places to work and we're very appreciative there will be another venue for workers," said national co-ordinator Catherine Healy.
Auckland Council says there are 18 licensed brothels in the former Auckland City area, four in Manukau and three on the North Shore.