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New brothel bylaw passed by Council

New brothel bylaw passed by Council

Christchurch brothels are to be confined to the central business district under the new Christchurch City Brothels (Location and Signage) Bylaw 2004, which will be introduced on 7 July.

Final details of the bylaw were decided today by the Christchurch City Council, based on recommendations from its Prostitution Reform Act Subcommittee and two rounds of consultation with the public.

Under the bylaw, brothels will only be allowed in the Central Business District excluding the city’s heritage precinct between Hereford St and Gloucester St including Worcester St and Cathedral Square.

As a result of consultation, three larger brothels just outside the central city area have been given permission to remain in business, provided they do not change their character or increase in size. Others will have to cease operating or move to the area permitted in the bylaw.

The new bylaw also limits signage advertising commercial sexual services to premises where the services are provided. Information shown on signs will be restricted to the street number and name of the business providing commercial sexual services or the name of the person conducting the business. Pictures and flashing lights will not be permitted and the size of signs will be limited.

Councils were given powers to control the location and signage of brothels under the Prostitution Reform Act, introduced last year. They did not receive additional powers to address issues relating to street workers but the Council’s Prostitution Reform Act Subcommittee is working with other agencies to address perceived problems raised during consultation on the Christchurch City Brothels Bylaw.

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