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Manukau’s Two Local Bills Set For First Reading

24 November 2005

Manukau’s Two Local Bills Set For First Reading

Manukau City Council is seeking strong support from all MPs for the successful passage through Parliament of two local bills on prostitution and graffiti control, which were introduced to the House on 22 November.

The bills will undergo their first reading on 7 December and if successful will be referred to a select committee. At that stage Manukau residents will be able to make submissions.

Mayor Sir Barry Curtis who has advocated long and hard on both issues says, “I appeal to Manukau residents: if you want change, lobby your local MP on both issues. In September a rally was held at Hunters Corner against prostitution and a petition was signed supporting both bills which has been sent to Parliament.

“You have the power to help bring about change and clean up your environment. Wednesday 7 December is our biggest hurdle to clear. We need to raise awareness of the bills’ importance for our city and gain support of MPs so that they pass their first reading. I, along with Councillors and Council officials, will be continuing to lobby hard to bring about change to improve the quality of life for our residents.

“This week I am sending a letter to the Prime Minister, Ministers of the Crown and all Members of Parliament summarising the bills and requesting their support.”

The Local Bill on street prostitution aims to give authorities the powers to prevent street prostitution by prohibiting soliciting in public places in Manukau City. This applies to both street prostitutes and their clients and to nuisance conduct connected with street prostitution. It also provides Police with powers to request information, to issue instant fines of $500, to arrest suspected offenders, and to prosecute offenders in Court that may result in a fine of up to $10,000.

Sir Barry says, “The Bill is part of a multi-pronged approach to limit prostitution to legally established brothels. The Bill does not re-criminalise prostitution in the whole of the City. Prostitution would continue within safe, regulated and lawfully established brothels. Street prostitution is not conducive to any of the aims of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003, which aims to safeguard the health and safety of sex workers and limit persons in that industry to those over 18 years of age.”

The Local Bill on graffiti control aims to minimise the graffiti problem in the city by penalising offenders and providing Police and Council with the necessary powers to control the problem. It will provide additional statutory means to ban the sale in Manukau of spray painting cans and other graffiti tools to a person under 18. It will also provide Council the power to remove graffiti on private property if it is visible from a public place.

Copies of the two local bills can be accessed on Manukau City Council website www.manukau.govt.nz

ENDS

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