An unlicensed brothel in Remuera has closed after neighbours collected evidence that included men paying for sex after church on Sunday.
Acting on evidence collected by a neighbourhood support group, the Auckland Council investigated and found the brothel at Ascot Ave did not have resource consent.
City officials issued an abatement notice ordering the bordello to cease operating. When council officers visited the property a week later, the $1 million-plus home was empty.
One of the neighbours who collected evidence said they received an anonymous letter saying there were illegal immigrants working as prostitutes at the house. The letter gave telephone numbers for the Asian woman running the brothel.
"We were very unhappy about having a brothel in our neighbourhood. There were men hanging around, people coming to our doors and knocking looking for the prostitutes. They were blocking the road ... and even parking in the St Aidan's Anglican Church carpark [on Remuera Rd].
"It is unbelievable the men that come and go. Young, old, every nationality you can imagine. Some in their turbans after church on a Sunday," said the neighbour, who did not want to be named.
Another neighbour said the house had been supposedly rented for international language students.
The principal of Remuera Intermediate School in Ascot Ave, Janet Exon, said the board of trustees backed the neighbourhood group's actions.
"If there is something like that [a brothel] close to a school, it is probably not a good idea," she said.
Auckland Council acting central resource consents manager David Oakhill said the council was considering further enforcement action.
The neighbourhood group - having checked adult entertainment advertisements - believes that the Asian woman is running at least one other brothel in Auckland.
Tomorrow, the council's regulatory and bylaws committee will consider the issue of reviewing the brothels and commercial sex premises bylaws inherited from the seven former territorial councils.
On the vexed issue of the location of brothels, a number of local boards do not want them or other commercial sex premises in residential areas and think there should be a minimum distance from schools and churches.
The Prostitutes Collective and some in the sex industry want the industry to be self-regulated.