A United Nations development program director says New Zealand is the ideal country to work as a prostitute.

UNDP director of HIV, health and development practice Mandeep Dhaliwal praised New Zealand's progressive prostitution laws as promoting safety and slowing the spread of HIV.

The call came alongside a new UN report that compared New Zealand to Asian and Pacific nations and recommended that they also decriminalise prostitution.

The report - Sex Work and the Law - found there was no evidence that criminalising prostitution had prevented the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.


New South Wales was the only other territory in the region that had decriminalised sex work and the report noted both areas had "extremely low or nonexistent" transmission of sexual diseases among prostitutes.

Empowerment and access to health services were cited as reasons for high condom use in the industry and this correlated to "very low STI prevalence".

New Zealand condom use was compared to Asian countries like China, Fiji and Indonesia - where sex workers are deterred from carrying condoms because it can be used as evidence that they are illegally working as a prostitute.