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Manukau welcomes the progress of the street prosti

Manukau welcomes the progress of the street prostitution bill to the Select Committee

Manukau communities are a step closer to restricting street prostitution in the problem areas in the city, with the advance of the Manukau (Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill to Local Government and Environment Select Committee.

The Bill passed the first reading with a strong 82 to 36 votes in a conscience vote last night.

If enacted, the bill will allow Manukau City Council to pass bylaws to restrict street prostitution in specified places. If passed it would give the police the power to arrest any street prostitutes and their clients who contravene the bylaws.

Cr Dick Quax, who is responsible for community safety, says the Manukau experience is unique. “We have CCTV images that capture young women controlled by gang members; streets workers who are drunk. Recently we saw a middle-aged woman and her teenage daughter touting for business. They were also caring for the teenager’s baby.”

The bill is a local bill that aims to address a local problem - the increase in anti-social behaviour since the decriminalisation of street prostitution.

“A 2008 review of the law highlighted the unsafe environment for street workers; they remain vulnerable and marginalised, and must be encouraged to move indoors.

“It is hard to imagine what some of our communities face. Households and businesses in Hunters Corner in Papatoetoe and the Manurewa town centre, for example, have had to deal with used condoms, needles and human faeces on a daily basis. The unsavoury debris that is left behind, including syringes, has to be cleared up every morning. Our school children are being exposed to this type of impact.

“The current bill is a major improvement from our 2005 bill as it goes for a targeted rather than broad brush approach. It offers a better balance between the rights of street workers and our communities.”

A copy of the bill is available here.


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