New Zealand Court Finds Brothel Law TOO restrictive

Brothels Should be Allowed in Residential Properties
Court quashes Auckland's brothel law

15.03.06 The New Zealand Herald

The High Court has quashed Auckland City Council's brothels bylaw, saying it was too restrictive. A challenge from the owners of a brothel known as Club 574, which operated from an address in the leafy suburb of Epsom, brought about the decision, released today by Justice Paul Heath.

Parliament legalised prostitution in June 2003, but it was left to local authorities to makes decisions about the locations at which brothels could operate and the signage they could use. Auckland's bylaw lists many restrictions on the siting of a brothel, including that they not set up business in a residential area, close to a place of worship, school, or community facility. Justice Heath found that the bylaw was invalid partly because it prohibited sex workers from plying their lawful trade from small owner-operated brothels, most of which would be likely operate to from residential properties. "It is scarcely conceivable that Parliament intended virtually no brothels, whether small or large, to operate on the Auckland isthmus," Justice Heath said in his finding. "To that extent, the bylaw conflicts with and undermines the purposes of the (Prostitution Law Reform) Act."

It was understandable that many ratepayers did not want to live close to a brothel, he said, but the council's bylaws must be made on legal rather than moral grounds. Justice Heath said the same sort of business had been carried out at the Epsom address for many years, without any real evidence of public nuisance or safety concerns. Club 574 had applied for a dispensation from the bylaw in February last year, but was turned down by commissioners. Lawyers for Club 574 maintained that the commissioners did not give enough consideration to the fact that the club was carrying out a lawful activity, that it had been doing so for some time, and that its business was carried out behind high walls and trees and without signage identifying the nature of the business. Club 574 was awarded costs by Justice Heath


New Zealand Decriminalization Went TOO far!

Neighborhoods are in uproar over street prostitution and brothels in residential areas

Most of the world has a more sensible balance. Outcall totally legal almost everywhere except the U.S., brothels have to be in proper zoning not in residential areas in most countries, and legal status varies from only one gal per flat in the U.K., to huge public brothels in Australia and New Zealand.


Flawed Prostitution Law Ignores Dannevirke Community Concern
From New Zealand -

21 July 2008 - Family First says that the Dannevirke community has felt the full impact of the ideologically flawed decriminalization of prostitution. "The new law has ridden roughshod over the concerns of local communities, and Dannevirke is powerless to stop a brothel operating in the main street," says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. "Once again, the safety and welfare of families and children is being put second to business ventures and male clientele."

"This has been the predicted outcome of the law. Other problems include an increase in street prostitution, brothels operating in residential areas, the association of brothels and prostitutes with drugs, alcohol, and used condoms littering the area, and increased teenage prostitution (involving girls reportedly as young as 11)."

"Despite attempts by the Dannevirke Community (and other local communities in Manukau and Wellington) to gain control over this type of behaviour, politicians continue to block attempts to empower local communities. Laws governing the availability of alcohol and numbers of pokie machines have also ignored the concerns and welfare of local communities and families." Family First is calling on the government to empower local councils to be able to respond to the concerns of families.

"The decriminalisation of prostitution has failed prostitutes by encouraging them to think that prostitution can be safe - which it can never be. But now the law is also failing our communities and families. We must change it before it is too late," says Mr McCoskrie.


Dave notes:

In case your wondering what a pokie machine is - no not what you think sexually ... - Mates, its a New Zealand expression for casino slot machines.

Family First New Zealand is a lobby group that promotes conservative values in New Zealand. While it also is against all prostitution I think it does have a valid point regarding street hookers and brothels in residential areas.