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Mayor Opposed To Brothels In Residential Areas

Mayor Opposed To Brothels In Residential Areas In Manukau

Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis says brothels should not be permitted under any circumstances in residential areas, business zones 1 and 2, or in rural areas. He also believes that they should not be allowed to set up as home enterprises in residential areas, and should only be permitted in business zones 4, 5 and 6.

The Council is currently considering a draft bylaw to control the siting and operations of brothels, which are defined as premises where five or more people provide commercial sex services. Premises offering services with four or fewer workers come into the category of home enterprises, and are regulated by different bylaws.

Sir Barry wants to see bylaws in the different cities of the Auckland region standardised to ensure uniformity, and to prevent large numbers of brothels being set up in one city where it may be easier to do so because of flexible bylaws. “We certainly do not want Manukau to be the preferred location for brothel owners across the region.”

Legislation decriminalising prostitution was passed in September. Sir Barry says, “The Council is unable to ban brothels altogether even though I would like to. Our focus is not on whether this activity is morally right or wrong, but only on controlling it.

“I feel strongly that brothels should not be permitted within 250 metres or within sight of a childcare facility, kindergarten, school, library or recreation centre, cultural centre, public hall, scout and guide den, marae, church or other place of worship.”

Sir Barry says it makes sense to restrict brothels to the business zones of the city where they will have little or no impact on the neighbourhood. “I well understand why people in residential streets don’t want a brothel operating in their area.”

The proposed bylaw, which goes before full Council for adoption this week, proposes limits on signage and requires information about the owner to be listed on the sign. It also bans words or images that are sexually explicit, lewd or offensive. Public consultation on the draft bylaw will take place in late January.

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