Girls pimped out by relatives - pastor

File photo / Jason Dorday
File photo / Jason Dorday

A church pastor says underage girls in south Auckland are being pimped out by their parents and as many as three generations of some families are working as prostitutes.

Pastor Trent Membrey of the contemporary Christian C3 Church said he and others from his parish had worked to offer support to underage girls, one as young as 11, who were working as prostitutes in Manurewa.

His comments come after community leaders in the area announced a public meeting next month amid fears of a rising number of underage prostitutes in South Auckland, some as young as 13 said to be earning up to $600 a night.

Pastor Membrey said he and others from C3 Church had worked with young women who were being forced into prostitution.

"For a lot of them it's not their call. Their brothers and uncles are pimping them out ... a lot of them don't have a say,'' he said.

"There are three generations of [some families] out there ... it's an ongoing cycle.

Some of these girls won't know any different because it's inbred in these families.''

Pastor Membrey said the toxic lifestyle was driven by drugs and alcohol and he believed police were doing all they could to keep underage girls off the streets.

He said police confiscated drugs and took home underage girls suspected of working as prostitutes but they immediately return to the streets.

"We're not out there to preach them the gospel, we're out there to [help],'' Pastor Membrey said.

"An 11-year-old girl should still be at home playing with Barbies, but right now they've got 40-, 50-year-old men [preying on them].''

Police could not be contacted for comment today.

The meeting on April 6 will be hosted by Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board and attended by NZ First MP Asenati Lole-Taylor, party leader Winston Peters and other MPs.

Tina Herewini, a warden who patrols Otara's town centre, parks, reserves and waterways said yesterday there could be as many as 20 to 30 young girls lingering at the corner of Bairds Rd and Kew Lane.

"I don't know which ones are prostitutes but there is also a line of cars leading up the lane into the carpark. You see the girls talk with the drivers and then hop in the cars and drive a few more metres into the carpark where they do the business,'' she said.

- APNZ

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