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Prostitution reform petition falls short

Monday, 10 January 2005

Prostitution reform petition falls short

The petition sponsored by United Future MP's Gordon Copeland and Larry Baldock seeking to repeal the Prostitution Reform Act has fallen about 70,000 short of the required 273,000 signatures.

The Prostitution Reform Act, which legalised street soliciting and decriminalised brothel keeping, pimping and living off the earnings of prostitution, was passed by Parliament in June 2003 by a single vote with one abstention.

The two MP’s then launched a petition seeking a Citizens’ Referendum for repeal as part of this year’s Parliamentary elections.

"Although we have come up short of the 273,000 signatures required to force a referendum," they said, "the collection of 200,000 signatures is an enormous effort and we are very grateful to all those who have participated.

“Clearly thousands of New Zealanders believe that Parliament got it wrong in 2003 and calls for repeal will continue.

"For that reason, we are disappointed that the petition has been unsuccessful.

"However better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all. The 273,000 threshold (10% of the electorate roll) is high by some international standards and should, in our view, be lowered to 5% or about 136,500 signatures so that petitions for referenda have a better chance of success,” the two MP’s said.

ENDS

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