James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Transvestite group upsets Papatoetoe community

The transvestites were breaking an agreement which banned sex business between 6am and 9pm. Photo / Getty Images
The transvestites were breaking an agreement which banned sex business between 6am and 9pm. Photo / Getty Images

A group of Hamilton transvestites is has been accused of causing havoc in a South Auckland red-light area by breaking a long-standing deal between sex workers and the community.

The chairman of the Hunters Corner Town Centre Society in Papatoetoe, Pat Taylor, said the transvestites were breaking an agreement that police and locals had with the Prostitutes Collective which banned sex business between 6am and 9pm.

"The information we have got is a group of five or six transvestites moved up from Hamilton about two or three months ago.

"They are a particularly abrasive group of people and have no faith in the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. They have told the police and some of our security people that they won't listen to what the NZPC has to say."

Mr Taylor said prostitution in the area had been quieter than normal over the past six months but Papatoetoe had seen a "pretty heavy influx of street prostitutes".

"Our concern is that seeing that it's a legal trade then it should be treated exactly the same way as any other legal business with meeting council requirements, health and safety requirements, noise and tax requirements but they're not."

A staff member at the Hamilton Prostitutes Collective said word of the transvestites harassing locals on Hunter's Corner was news to her, but she was not ruling out the possibility.

"I think sex workers in general can be quite transient anyway so it would not be a false statement to say it's happening but I certainly can't substantiate this claim."

New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective Auckland co-ordinator Annah Pickering said a memorandum of understanding between the Manukau City Council, the NZPC and the local community signed in 2009 stopping prostitution on Hunters Corner between 6am and 9pm was "still being honoured today".

It is not known if police have had complaints about the transvestites.

Counties Manukau police spokeswoman Ana-Marie Gates Bowey could not be contacted for comment.

- NZ Herald

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