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Copeland suspicious of bureaucratic interference

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

Copeland suspicious of bureaucratic interference

United Future MP Gordon Copeland is suspicious that Wellington-based civil service heads are interfering with an official inquiry into prostitution in New Zealand.

Mr Copeland, along with former United Future MP Larry Baldock and Labour MP Marian Hobbs, is a member of the Prostitution Working Group, which is reviewing the working of the Prostitution Reform Act.

The specific areas being reviewed are soliciting; underage involvement in prostitution and; the ability of Councils to regulate brothels.

The Group, set up as part of the confidence and supply agreement between United Future and Labour after the last election, spent yesterday gathering evidence in Auckland.

But Mr Copeland says he's alarmed that arranged meetings with the North Shore police and the North Shore branch of the Immigration Service had to be cancelled when they failed to turn up.

"We were told they couldn't come because of orders from Wellington and I find it alarming that Wellington head offices can hinder an official review in this way," said Mr Copeland.

ENDS

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