An objector yesterday blasted the legal basis for sex zone proposals in Queenstown and Wanaka as bordering on paranoia. A Queenstown Lakes District Council panel heard objections to a proposal that could pave the way for town centre sex zones. Those making submissions told the panel the proposed bylaw was deficient, a backward step and could lead to rampant prostitution. Last year, the council adopted a draft bylaw after a review of an existing bylaw banning brothels in the district. According to the council the previous legislation was potentially at odds with the Prostitution Reform Act, which decriminalised commercial sex in 2003. The authority said if it did not accept national legislation it could be at risk of an expensive judicial review. A public consultation attracted 58 submissions, of which only three voiced any support for a bylaw to allow brothels in central business districts. Family First national director Bob McCoskrie told the panel the council was given legal advice bordering on paranoia. His submission said the organisation was astounded the council did not consider industrial zones, as the courts had ruled brothel locations could be restricted by councils and the over-riding principle was protection of the public. “The CBD is a family area, the (proposed sex zone) is in the middle of a shopping area, a family area, a tourist area,” he said.
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