Friday, November 2, 2012

Lucia Brothels need to be made illegal again

Legality is often the modern test of morality. If it's legal, it should be fine.

Auckland's first high-rise brothel could be a magnet for crime and drugs yet that is no reason to ban it because prostitution is legal.

So says the official Auckland Council report from lead senior planner Jennifer Valentine, who backed the application and rejected moral and religious opposition, raising the ire of Monsignor David Tonks, pastoral assistant to the Catholic Bishop Pat Dunn, who opposes the brothel.

"I'm seriously disappointed," he said, noting how the area drew families and tourists and wondering what message people would get from the massive brothel with giant lit display sign.

"These places are often associated with importing women for the sex trade and it's a tragedy," he said.

But Jennifer Valentine told how because activities within the proposed 15-level tower were permitted, she could not consider "moral or religious objections, nor potential increases in illegal activities such as crime and drug use".

She also acknowledged that of the 221 submissions opposing the development, 208 were because it will be a brothel.

The reform of prostitution that was enacted a number of years back by the Labour Government headed by Helen Clark legalised prostitution (by private member's bill) because many felt prostitutes needed protection. Except, they would have been better off making it illegal to hire a prostitute as well, in other words get the clients, rather than creating this situation where by brothels are springing up here, there and everywhere and there seems there is little that can be done because it's legal. Well, it can be made illegal again.

A few months ago, Christchurch residents asked to have a buffer zone put in place between large brothels and residential areas because of the massive disruption that brothels create.

"It's like having the red-light district of Manchester St on your driveway."

One woman, who did not want to be named, said she had bought a unit as a "nice family home", but "all of a sudden ... I'm too scared to even take my rubbish bins outside because there are people sitting in cars obviously waiting to come in".

She had had people come to her door trying to find the "full-fledged" brothel.

"They think they're above the law. I would say it's not a small owner-operated brothel, otherwise they wouldn't have had to put more bedrooms in there,'' she said..

"We're coming to you as a last resort to try to protect us ... I don't feel safe."

Another woman said the brothel had caused parking issues in the area throughout the day and night, even though the street was meant to have a 30-minute parking limit.

"The [house] values are going to go down. These are homes that are for people, for families, not [for] having these people that are being threatening," she said.

I would say that some time in the near future, there will be calls for the banning of prostitution altogether. Currently, the story I quoted a snippet from above will most likely culminate in the banning of brothels completely from most of Christchurch. Brothel owners would do well to take note of the growing annoyance of affected people and think about where this might head in the future.

Related links: No reason to ban high-rise brothel - report ~ New Zealand Herald
Call for 'buffer' between brothels and homes
Big brothels could be banned from suburbs

12 comment(s):

Sb said...

The reform of prostitution that was enacted a number of years back by the Labour Government headed by Helen Clark legalised prostitution (by private member's bill)

You have repeated a common error. The reform act that you refer to did not make prostitution legal. Its available on the web if you don't believe me.

It 's primary purpose was to make brothels legal. Prostitution has never been (and will almost certainly will never be) illegal in New Zealand.

Lucia Maria said...

Funny how the Ministry of Justice has made the same mistake.

"The Prostitution Reform Act was passed by Parliament in June 2003. Among other things, this Act decriminalises prostitution in New Zealand, and introduces provisions to protect the health and safety o"=f sex workers and their clients. The Act prohibits the use in prostitution of persons under 18."

Prostitution Law Reform - Ministry of Justice

Sb said...

Yes it is interesting that they made that error.

I guess whoever wrote that page was unfililuar with the act

Its here

If you are certain show me where in the act it makes it legal?

Lucia Maria said...

"In 2003, the Prostitution Law Reform Act 2003 decriminalised sex work, removing sections 147-149A of the Crimes Act [1961], which had formerly prohibited most forms of prostitution in New Zealand through maintaining criminal penalties against soliciting, living off the proceeds of sex work, brothel-keeping and managing sex workers."


How it did that, your link doesn't say, or if it does, it's not obvious. But then I've noticed the same thing with the Marriage Act ammendments - somehow consummation was removed as necessary for a valid marriage to occur - but the Act also doesn't say.

Lucia Maria said...

Here's what a Parliamentary Research paper on Prostitution Law Reform says, which backs up the Wikipedia link:

"Under the Crimes Act 1961, brothel-keeping, living on the earnings of prostitution, and procuring sexual intercourse were offences, each attracting a maximum penalty of up to five years imprisonment. [19]"

Sb said...

The key point is in that txt that you posted.

most forms of prostitution

The point is that Prostitution by private individuals in a private (non commercial) location was legal.

Other wise that txt would say all forms of Prostitution .

Sb said...

Your link does not work either

Sb said...

procuring sexual intercourse

In the context that they are talking about that means
pimping or managing of sex workers

Lucia Maria said...

Ok, here it is again: Research paper on Prostitution law reform in New Zealand

Lucia Maria said...

And what we have is a summary of what the 1961 Crimes Act prohibited, not the actual Act itself.

Sb said...

Ah I think I see what they are doing with this.

The devil is in the detail!

They are differentiating between Prostitution and "sex work"

When they talk about Prostitution they mean sex for sale by a private individual in a private context without any involvement by a third party.

When they say "sex work' they mean that a third party is involved, a pimp, a manager, a brothel owner or some sort of thing like that.

When I was saying prostitution I was meaning the same thing as "sex work"

So using the words in the same way as the legal people seem to be using it means that Prostitution was legal before 2003 but "sex work" was not.

After 2003 both Prostitution and "sex work' was legal.

From the link you provide note between point 25 and point 26 the txt says

However, the actual provision of sexual services for payment was not an offence.

Lucia Maria said...

Well, there are obviously some technicalities about what was and wasn't illegal prior to the Prostitution Law Reform, however, I think I'm safe with regards to what I said that you took issue with, because until we have the exact wording of the sections that were repealed, we have only the interpretations to work with. There was clearly some criminality involved, otherwise "Prostitution" would not have been said to be decriminalised.

I really wish the entirety of the old Acts were available online.

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