Street prostitution bill doesn't go far enough - NZ First

By Kate Shuttleworth

Locals say the sex workers on Hunters Corner are holding them to ransom. Photo / Jason Dorday
Locals say the sex workers on Hunters Corner are holding them to ransom. Photo / Jason Dorday

New Zealand First say a bill before the Local Government and Environment select committee doesn't go far enough to crack down on illegal street prostitution.

NZ First's social policy spokeswoman Asenati Lole-Taylor has drafted a separate bill to give proposed prostitution law reform the "teeth'' to deal with confrontational street soliciting.

She said people living in parts of South Auckland and Christchurch were outraged by street prostitution but were reluctant to voice their concerns because of intimidation by prostitutes and their minders.

The Manukau City Council (Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill 2010 was originally introduced as the Manukau City Council (Control of Street Prostitution) Bill 2005 in an effort to clamp down on street prostitution but was voted down.

The council decided to improve street lighting, closed-circuit television, Maori wardens and ambassadors.

She said the existing Prostitution Reform Act 2003 places no restrictions on where or when prostitutes can solicit customers.

Mrs Lole-Taylor's office is in South Auckland and she said there were frequent visits from constituents complaining about violence related to prostitution.

NZ First would push for the Act to be amended.

"The hole in legislation made it virtually impossible for local bodies to make legally sound bylaws to make neighbourhoods safe from bullying prostitutes and their pimps.

"It would be negligent of MPs to ignore these problems. Failure on their part to take action would be a dereliction of duty," said Mrs Lole-Taylor.

Earlier this week Prime Minister John key said he didn't think prostitution law reform had worked in New Zealand.

Mr Key said he didn't think the Prostitution Law Reform Act 2003 had achieved a reduction in street prostitution and under age prostitutes, as it was intended to when voted for.

"The argument was that it would eliminate all the street workers and underage people, particularly girls, and the reports that we see in places like South Auckland is that it hasn't actually worked," he said.

Mr Key said he didn't think there was political will to revisit prostitution law reform but said there was will to look at addressing street prostitution.

- APNZ

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