Large brothels have been banned in Lyttelton as part of a city council's clamp down on the sex industry.

The city council yesterday voted 12-2 in favour of adopting a bylaw which would ban bigger brothels in Lyttelton.

New Zealand Prostitute Collective Christchurch coordinator Anna Reed said brothel's were a "part of Lyttelton" and the bylaw would have no effect on the current red light business in Lyttelton as prostitutes typically worked for themselves.

"Most people we know over in Lyttelton work for themselves and the bylaw is for larger brothels which really are in the distant past."


She said history showed that ports and brothels would always go together.

"If I was a madam again I would go and set up a brothel on Norwich Quay (Lyttelton), it is the perfect location," she said.

Submissions received on the bylaw described the proposal of having larger brothels in Lyttelton as "truly shocking". Most were opposed to saying Lyttelton had changed to a "family friendly" town.

A submitter said if large brothels were allowed "Lyttelton will become a drunken orgy town."

Said another: "Our children walk every day on all the streets designated for brothels in Lyttelton. Their safety would be at risk."

However Ms Reed said there was a misconception that brothels bred problems.

"There seems to be this fantasy that what is ever happening behind closed doors is going to come tumbling out onto the street," she said.

She said prostitutes working in Lyttelton were "incredibly discrete" as their profession relied on this.

She was unimpressed with the deputations and discussion at the city council meeting.

"I just witnessed complete discrimination," said Ms Reed.

"I think we should look at brothels as being useful to our economy and even a attraction of New Zealand. For some tourist and cruise ships it is a good and very safe way to have sexual relations," she said.

"There are hundred's and hundred's of people who didn't make a submission and who don't give a damn."