NZ’ers Want Brothels Booted Out of Residential Areas

Media Release 30 May 2011

Two out of three New Zealanders want the prostitution laws amended to ban brothels in residential areas. 

Family First NZ has re-released the results of their recent poll in response to TV2’s My House My Castle episode this week highlighting the problems of residential brothels. 

In the poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research last month, respondents were asked “Should the prostitution laws be amended to specifically ban brothels in residential areas?” 66% want brothels banned in residential areas, 26% disagreed, and the remainder (8%) were either unsure or refused to answer. More women (71%) than men wanted the ban. 

“This result should give the government the green light to get the red light out of residential areas,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Accounts of home brothels (SOOB’s) where men willing to pay for sex are visiting nearby homes trying to find the brothel, and concerns about noise, traffic, and late-night visits are common experiences from having a brothel in a residential street.” 

“Concern has been expressed by families in Greenlane, Albany, One Tree Hill, North Shore, Mt Albert, Mt Victoria in Wellington, opposite a school in Henderson, Massey, Ashburton, and most recently Cleveland Mews by the Prime Minister’s residence. It is a disgrace that we are exposing especially our children and families to this type of activity and level of risk.” 

When introducing the provisions to give control of the placement of brothels to local councils, the then-Minister of Justice, the Hon Phil Goff said: ‘Most of us would not want to see brothels established in residential areas or adjacent to preschools or schools. My amendment would allow the local territorial authorities, the councils, to prohibit the establishment of, or order the removal of, a brothel in an area where it would cause a nuisance or serious offence to ordinary members of the public.’

“We challenge Mr Goff and all other politicians who supported the decriminalisation of prostitution to deliver on that promise,” says Mr McCoskrie. 

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.

March 2011

POLL DATES:                          Evenings of Thursday 10, Sunday 13 and Thursday 17 March 2011 

SAMPLE SIZE:                        1,000 respondents agreed to participate. 

SAMPLE SELECTION:             A random selection of 10,000 nationwide phone numbers, with the person in the household aged 18+ who next has a birthday asked to participate. 

SAMPLE ERROR:                    Based on this sample of 1,000 respondents, the maximum sampling error (for a result of 50%) is +/- 3.2%, at the 95% confidence level. 

Should the prostitution laws be amended to specifically ban brothels in residential areas? 

Ban residential brothels
  Count Col %
Ban residential brothels Yes 652 66%
No 263 26%
Unsure/Refuse 78 8%
Total 993 100%

Around two thirds of respondents want brothels banned in residential areas. 

Ban residential brothels BY Gender + Age + Area
  Gender Age Area
Female Male 18 – 30 31 – 45 46 – 60 61+ Metro Provincial Rural
Col % Col % Col % Col % Col % Col % Col % Col % Col %
Ban residential brothels Yes 71% 59% 64% 65% 63% 69% 64% 65% 68%
No 23% 32% 30% 26% 31% 22% 29% 24% 25%
Unsure/Refuse 6% 10% 6% 9% 5% 9% 6% 11% 7%

 Again more women than men want residential brothels banned.


  Count Col %
Gender Female 568 57%
Male 420 43%
Total 988 100%


  Count Col %
Age 18 – 30 50 5%
31 – 45 176 18%
46 – 60 362 37%
61+ 402 41%
Total 990 100%
  Count Col %
Area Metro 415 42%
Provincial 273 27%
Rural 312 31%
Total 1000 100%

Metro is defined as Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

Provincial is all other cities in New Zealand.

Rural areas are all areas not Metro or Provincial. 

Have children under 12
  Count Col %
Have children under 12 Yes 195 20%
No 792 80%
Total 987 100%