Sex-trade barons John and Michael Chow, who start building a 15-storey hotel and brothel opposite the Sky Tower soon, expanded their Auckland operation yesterday with a new club in a central city backpacker area.

The Galaxy Club on Gore St will employ between 80 and 120 women, aged 18 to early 40s, with the brothers spending millions on the fit-out and strengthening of the building.

They also have consent for New Zealand's first tower brothel, on the site of the demolished historic Aurora Tavern, on the corner of Federal St and Victoria St West.

"After receiving the green light from Auckland Council for the site opposite SkyCity, we are able to move forward and work will be starting soon on the site so watch for the space," the brothers said in a statement.


The pair, who are widely known in Wellington through their investment in strip clubs and brothels, continued their Auckland takeover yesterday with the unveiling of the new club in a central city backpacker area.

They said the Galaxy was their first brothel in Auckland.

"We spent $4 million on the fitout and strengthening the building which we bought two years ago," Michael Chow told the Herald.

He said the brothers' company the Chow Group also owned the Mermaid strip club below.

Monsignor David Tonks, pastoral assistant to Catholic Bishop Patrick Dunn, has expressed concerns about more brothels, predicting more crime, particularly murders.

He wants new brothels limited to existing red light areas like Karangahape Rd and Fort St.

The Prostitutes' Collective supports the expansion, a spokesperson saying she was disappointed there had been opposition to the project.