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Copeland seeks Prostitution Reform consensus

Copeland seeks Prostitution Reform consensus

United Future MP and leading Prostitution Law Reform Bill opponent Gordon Copeland today sent the following document to all MPs, seeking a common way forward for those opposed to the Bill.

Subject: Prostitution Reform - A Way Forward

1 The central problem for those of us who oppose the bill in its present form is the decriminalisation of pimping, procuring and brothel keeping. We oppose these provisions because they will lead to the exploitation and enslavement of prostitutes. These outcomes are contrary to one of the stated aims of the present bill, which is "protecting sex workers from exploitation".

2. My information is that gangs in NZ are already discussing those areas which will become their "turf" for the operation of the activities mentioned above, should the bill become law in its present form. I am also aware that a group of businessmen have formulated plans to bring sex workers from NZ to Asia under the cover of student work visas.

I believe many of us would support the bill if these problems could be overcome and my analysis would lead me to conclude that they would be, based on the following:

a. Wayne Mapp's supplementary order paper (SOP). This accepts the legalisation of soliciting but puts in place some commonsense safeguards around that issue. However it retains the current law in relation to pimping, procuring and brothel keeping.

b. My SOP, which is designed to dovetail with Wayne's, and retains the Massage Parlours Act.

c. Lianne Dalziel's SOP which addresses the mischief of overseas students working as prostitutes whilst in NZ.

d. MY SOP banning the advertising of commercial sexual services (thus limiting demand) in a manner, which is consistent with the similar ban on the advertising of tobacco products.

An Act incorporating these amendments would fulfil all of the stated aims of the bill. I am circulating this to all MPs because I believe it might yet be possible to achieve a degree of consensus whilst respecting the principle of good conscience. I trust you will find this helpful. With all good wishes

Gordon Copeland

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