Councils can impose restrictions on the location of brothels under the Prostitution Reform Act (PRA), a landmark piece of legislation that passed in 2003 legalising solicitation and brothel-keeping.
But the act fails to account for street-based sex work, a regulatory gap that Christchurch Central MP Duncan Webb believes is not fair to sex workers, councils or residents.
The Family First-commissioned poll of 1000 people, carried out by Curia Market Research, found 76 per cent of respondents agreed councils should have the power to ban street prostitution at their discretion.
“The ‘red light’ district should never be given the ‘green light’ in residential and family areas,” said Family First national director Bob McCoskrie.
“There have been ongoing concerns about the negative effects of street prostitution and the associated conduct in Christchurch and also South Auckland, and the local councils have been powerless to act appropriately.”
The poll also showed 61 per cent of respondents did not believe brothels should operate in residential areas. Family First was calling for a review of the PRA, which McCoskrie described as a hospital pass to local councils.
Catherine Healey, of the New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective, described the poll result as predictable and an easy score for Family First, a group which counted the recriminalisation of brothels among its objectives.
READ MORE: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/100216712/predictable-family-first-poll-suggests-public-want-councils-to-control-street-prostitution
Prostitutes’ Collective responds to poll on banning street sex work
Radio Live 29 December 2017
A conservative Christian lobby group released a poll showing the majority of people believe councils should have the power to ban street prostitution in their local areas.
Catherine Healey, national coordinator of New Zealand Prostitutes’ Collective, joins Miles Davis on Summer Afternoon Talk to discuss the poll.
“I think probably, [the poll is] on the money,” Ms Healey says.
“I would say that most people would have the unrealistic expectation that councils can fix it.”
In June 2003, New Zealand decriminalised sex work with the Prostitution Reform Act 2003.
Sex workers can determine their own work conditions in New Zealand. With the freedom to meet clients in a variety of settings, street workers are inevitable.
“We do generally have a very compliant, well behaved street worker population,” she says. “We do occasionally have a few who run by their own rules.”
Ms Healey explains that sex workers may work on the street for a number of reasons. Some can’t find brothel work, don’t feel safe at their brothel, or face discrimination for being transgender.
“Sex work is one of those occupations where it’s got a fairly free spirit attached to it,” she says.
“It’s got a lot of stigma and discriminations attached to it as well.”
According to the Family First NZ press release, the group is “joining calls for a critical review of the 2003 Prostitution Reform Act, the criminalisation of the pimping and purchase of women for sexual purposes, and greater support for workers wishing to exit prostitution.”
Listen to the full interview with Catherine Healey http://www.radiolive.co.nz/home/audio/2017/12/prostitutes_-collective-responds-to-family-first-poll-on-banning.html