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Local Govt respects people on prostitution

Media Statement For immediate release Wednesday, 17 September, 2003

Copeland: Local Govt respects people on prostitution

Local government across New Zealand is foiling the "politically correct" Prostitution Reform Act, United Future's Gordon Copeland said today.

"Parliament didn't listen to the silent majority, but I would have to say that local councils have not been so lax," Mr Copeland said.

"They are paying attention to what people are telling them. They know that people don't want brothels in their back yard, and they're treating this ill-begotten piece of legislation with the contempt that it deserves.

"They are respecting the wishes of the people rather than insisting on pushing through 'we-know-best' ideology.

In questioning Associate Justice Minister Lianne Dalziel in Parliament yesterday, Mr Copeland also said the secrecy surrounding the names of brothel-keepers to protect their privacy made a mockery of claims that the legislation would provide a safer work environment for prostitutes.

"Brothel owners' names are being kept so hidden that even OSH health and safety inspectors won't know where all the brothels are," he said.

"Now compare that to the stringent public notification process that occurs if you want to sell a few beers for a living.

"There are public notices in newspapers allowing people the chance to comment on your character and suitability to sell alcohol, and yet with brothels, we're allowing these people to hide away," he said.

"I suspect that the police, with their warnings concerning increasing gang involvement with prostitution, will also take a dim view of these ridiculous secrecy provisions."

Mr Copeland this week wrote to Justice Minister Phil Goff, Police Minister George Hawkins and Local Government Minister Chris Carter to get their backing for an amendment to the Act that would allow public release of the names of brothel-owners.


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