Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

ACT Baffled By Prostitution Bill

ACT expected to support Justice Minister Phil Goff’s first moves yesterday to toughen up on crime after nearly a year in power. But his tiny 5 clause Crimes Amendment Bill left us baffled” said ACT Justice spokesman Stephen Franks.

“The Government said the Bill was to plug gaps in New Zealand law so we could ratify an international convention against child slavery and serfdom.

“But instead it seems to criminalise prostitutes for the first time, and to threaten 5 years jail for clients of prostitutes under 18.

“For decades our law has only criminalised pimping, soliciting and brothel keeping. Prostitutes and their clients have not been the primary target of the law.

“Only two weeks ago Government MP and gay activist Tim Barnett trumpeted his Bill to decriminalise brothel keeping and soliciting.

“We assumed that the Chairman of the Justice and Electoral Select Committee had tacit Government support. So why is the Justice Minister now moving in the opposite direction?

“You suspect legal incompetence rather than conspiracy, when ACT, Sue Bradford of the Greens a government ally in political correctness, and Ron Mark of New Zealand First all agree that a Bill lacks principle.

“If it is not incompetence, perhaps an unintended result of trying to wipe all references to marriage from our law, or is it an attempt to head off Mr Barnett’s Bill?

“The main puzzle is in Section 149 of the Crimes Act. It presently gives up to 5 years imprisonment for being paid to get ‘any women or girl to have sexual intercourse with any male who is not her husband’. The replacement for Section 149 reads ‘to procure any person for the purposes of prostitution with any other person’. The government says the change is gender nuetral.



“Prostitution is not defined in the Crimes Act. The Court of Appeal definition refers only to ‘a women offering herself as a participant in physical acts of indecency for the gratification of men in return for money’. So the Bill does not get the Government to gender neutrality.

“And more puzzling, it seems a back-handed and obscure way of criminalising prostitutes who procure themselves for physical indecencies. Perhaps the drafter thought you couldn’t procure yourself? Yet it seems plain that the new section is not intended just for procuring others, because it could have said so simply. In any event, for practical purposes, procuring others is covered by the other sections against pimping.

“Could this shoddy piece of work even be an effort to raise Mr Barnett’s profile? If we criminalise prostitution now he can claim to decriminalise it if and when his Bill is drawn, instead of being left to promote a Bill which is mainly to legalise brothel keeping and pimping, not prostitution, which is already legal,” said Stephen Franks.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Sir Michael Cullen’s Tax Reform

To ordinary wage and salary earners who (a) watch a slice of their gross income being taxed every week via PAYE and who also (b) pay GST on every single thing they buy, there has been something quite surreal about the centre-right’s angry and anguished reactions to the Tax Working Group’s final report... More>>

 
 

89 Cents An Hour: Govt Plans Fix For Minimum Wage For People With Disabilities

IHC is delighted that the Government is looking into replacing the Minimum Wage Exemption (MWE) with a wage supplement to ensure people with disabilities are paid at least the minimum wage. More>>

ALSO:

Te Waihanga: New Independent Commission To Tackle Infrastructure Issues

The New Zealand Infrastructure Commission – Te Waihanga – will be established as an Autonomous Crown Entity to carry out two broad functions – strategy and planning and procurement and delivery support. More>>

ALSO:

Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>

ALSO:

Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>

ALSO:

Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels