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Post-bill cross-party prostitution probe call

Baldock, Smith call for post-bill cross-party prostitution probe

Two MPs have called for a cross-party inquiry into prostitution if the Prostitution Reform Bill is defeated in Parliament tonight.

"We've said from day one that this bill is bad legislation, and hopefully it will be defeated, but then we should look at some of the real issues with more light and less heat," United Future's Larry Baldock and Murray Smith said, in a letter to Tim Barnett, sponsor of the bill and chairman of the Justice and Electoral Select Committee.

"Tim Barnett is right about one thing: the sex industry needs to be looked at, but unfortunately his bill didn't do this in any constructive way."

They said that the inquiry should engage a research specialist to accurately assess numbers involved in prostitution in New Zealand, and in what areas of the industry they work.

Its terms of reference should include analysis of law changes in countries such as Sweden, Belgium, Finland and France - all signatory nations to the UN Protocol to Prevent Trafficking in Women and Children.

The inquiry should also investigate massage parlour employment conditions, review the Massage Parlour Act, and look at the unlicensed and illegal aspects of the sex industry, they said

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