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Select committee hearings on street prostitution

5 April 2006

Select committee hearings on street prostitution and graffiti in Manukau this week

A Parliamentary select committee will be sitting in Manukau on Thursday this week, April 6, to hear submissions on two local bills which are aimed at controlling graffiti and street prostitution in Manukau.

The Local Government and Environment Select Committee will hear oral submissions on the Manukau City Council (Control of Street Prostitution) Bill in the morning and submissions on the Manukau City Council (Control of Graffiti) Bill in the afternoon.

The Council is promoting both bills which had their first reading in Parliament last year. Mayor Sir Barry Curtis will present the Council’s submission.

The street prostitution bill makes it an offence to solicit for prostitution in a public place and the legislation would impact on clients as well as street sex workers. Street prostitution has been a significant community concern in Manukau since the late 1990s. The areas currently affected are Hunters Corner, Papatoetoe, and Manurewa town centre.

The graffiti bill proposes a clampdown on graffiti vandalism which is also a major concern in the city, and has grown at an alarming rate over recent years. The amount of tagging reported each month by the Manukau Beautification Trust, which is funded by the Council to remove tagging, has increased 500 per cent over the past five years.

The bill also imposes restrictions on the sale and display of cans of spray paint, the tool used for 95 per cent of tagging. Most taggers are aged between 12 and 17.

Sir Barry says graffiti is costly to remove and degrades entire neighbourhoods. “It also affects our city’s image. Tagging is now at epidemic proportions and Manukau residents have had enough. But the Police lack the powers to stop the problem. Our bill is aimed at giving them the legislative mandate they need to tackle the culprits and make it harder for would-be taggers to get access to spray paint cans.”

Submissions on the prostitution bill will be heard from 9am at the Civic Centre, Manukau City Centre, and graffiti bill submissions will be heard from 2pm.

ENDS


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