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Council Considers Response To Prostitution Reform

Council Considers Response To Prostitution Reform Act

Councillors and Community Board Members will meet next week (October 6th) to discuss Waitakere City’s response to the decriminalisation of prostitution.

A 3-hour workshop will look at options for managing the potential negative effects of the new legislation through the Council’s ability to make bylaws and/or through the District Plan.

This may include placing controls on brothel location and any associated signage.

Council staff are also discussing the issue with other Local Authorities with the aim of having an approach to the new legislation that is as consistent as possible across the Auckland Region.

There will be public consultation on any proposed bylaws or changes to the District Plan. A timeframe for public consultation will be confirmed after the October 6 workshop.

The new law legalises the soliciting and provision of sexual services for financial reward. Every operator of a venue that employs 5 or more sex workers has to apply to the District Court for a license to operate.

Chairperson of Waitakere’s Environment Management Committee, Penny Hulse, says there is a high level of community interest in the issue.

“You just have to look at the public debate in the lead-up to the law being passed,” she says. “Individuals and organisations have strong views on this issue and we want to hear from as broad a cross section of the community as possible.”

“Anything we adopt has to be not only workable, but our community has to be able to live with it.”

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