Sex workers in a suspected home brothel under investigation by Auckland Council have moved out of the Northcote property, neighbours say.

The residential brothel at the top of a cul-de-sac is said to be operating with up to eight prostitutes, which is in breach of council rules.

A neighbour said the women were seen being moved out of the three-bedroom house from Monday.

A sign on the main gate, saying "opening hours from 8am to 7pm", had also been removed.


"If they have actually moved on then it's brilliant," the neighbour said.

"We're keeping an eye to make sure they don't move back in."

Residents living on the street had complained about security concerns and traffic congestion caused by the brothel operation.

Council compliance officers met residents on Tuesday.

Regulatory compliance manager Steve Pearce however would not say if the brothel had ceased operations.

"We're still investigating the compliance issues," Pearce said.

"There is nothing additional to add at this stage."

An occupant at the property, who denied the house was being used as a brothel, had earlier told the Herald it was a rental accommodation for international students from China.


Immigration New Zealand's acting general manager compliance, risk and intelligence services Jock Gilray said it would be against the rules for migrants on temporary visas, such as international students, to legally work in the sex industry.

Gilray said the agency did not have any investigation under way into activities at the Northcote address.

But he is urging anyone who knew if the women were being forced to work in New Zealand illegally to contact the agency on 0508 558855 or the Labour Inspectorate on 0800 209020, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously.

"Immigration NZ recognises that some migrants have been reluctant to come forward to report exploitative practices by employers," Gilray said.

"This has been particularly the case where the migrant is in breach of their visa condition or overstaying."

Under the Prostitution Reform Act, only New Zealand citizens and residents can legally work in the sex industry.

"INZ does not grant either residence or temporary entry visas to a person who has provided or intends to provide commercial sexual services," Gilray said.