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Poll backs Copeland's view on Prostitution Reform

Poll backs Copeland's view on Prostitution Reform Bill

An overwhelming majority of New Zealand's well educated young women have no wish to see brothel keeping, pimping and procuring made legal in this country, according to a new UMR Research Ltd poll of 500 New Zealanders over the age of 18.

The poll , with a margin of error of ± 4.4%, was carried out last weekend for MP's Gordon Copeland and Larry Baldock to assist with tomorrow's continuing debate on the Bill in Parliament.

When asked whether they knew that under current New Zealand law, prostitution itself was already legal, 57% of those polled responded "no" and only 39% "yes".

"This is a point which a number of us have been making in Parliament," said Mr Copeland. "Namely, that there is a good deal of confusion in the minds of New Zealanders around this issue.

"According to the poll, almost 60% of New Zealanders are under the impression that prostitution is currently illegal in New Zealand and that the Bill will change that position. In fact, prostitution itself has never been illegal in New Zealand so, in that regard, the Bill simply continues the status quo."

"What is presently illegal in New Zealand is brothel keeping and bringing customers to prostitutes for payment (normally referred to as living off the earnings of prostitution, or pimping, or procurement).

"It is these activities which will become legal, for the first time in New Zealand's history, should the Bill become law. On this question opinion is evenly divided, with 43% favouring legalisation and 42% opposing legalisation.

"Perhaps of particular interest however" said Mr Copeland, "Forty six percent of women oppose legalisation, compared with only 37% of men. This gender split is even more pronounced when the results of the poll are broken down by age groups, a whopping 64% of females under 30 oppose the legalisation of brothel keeping.

"Again, these figures demonstrate what we and a number of other MPs such as Judith Collins, Nanaia Mahuta and Dianne Yates have been saying on two levels.

"Firstly, that these activities will lead to the exploitation of women - something that the Bill's sponsors also say they are against - and that legalisation is a regressive step which will turn the clock back in New Zealand to the Victorian era."

The third question asked in the poll was "Should advertising for commercial sexual services containing explicit images or messages be banned?"

An overwhelming 75% answered "yes".

Mr Copeland says he has introduced an amendment to the Bill, based on the smokefree legislation, which would ban such advertising "and it would appear that three quarters of the voting public in New Zealand would agree with me in that regard.

"We are amazed that this Bill could have been in Parliament for two and a half years, and has been right through the select committee stage without anyone giving thought to a ban on advertising which contains explicit images or messages.

"Thank God for the common sense of the average kiwi. A ban on advertising will both reduce demand for commercial sexual services and ensure that our beautiful children are not exposed to raunchy advertising on TV, radio, the internet and via the print media" say the two MP's.


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