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SOLO-NZ Op-Ed: Cameron Brewer's Attack on Property Rights!

SOLO-NZ Op-Ed: Cameron Brewer's Attack on Property Rights!

Stephen Berry

January 21, 2012

Orakei councillor Cameron Brewer has launched a blistering attack on property rights with his demand that Auckland City Council adopt “urgent” regulations on small owner-operated brothels. Brewer says, “If we can put the squeeze on outdoor smoking, surely we can get tougher on suburban brothels?” Clearly Mr. Brewer you have already thrown in the towel against George Wood’s oppression of smokers and are using that as a justification for your attack on property rights.

Brewer states in his press release, “Currently small brothels just need to prove there’s no brothel keeper and that they’re independent operators retaining full control of their earnings. So basically four prostitutes under one roof can do what they want day and night and there’s no real regulation or need for a licence. It’s quite outrageous, given SOOBs are the ones causing the greatest problems for many communities.”

What I think is outrageous is that Cameron Brewer thinks it is actually his business what people do under their own roof. Whether it be four prostitutes earning a living or one couple having sex for free is none of his business whatsoever! This desire to regulate small owner-operated brothels out of existence is just the tip of the iceberg. It reveals a sinister desire on the part of the councillor to make the government the supreme decider on what you do in your home, not the owner of the property themselves.

We should count ourselves fortunate that the actions of this council are currently restricted by central government legislation as Councillor Brewer makes quite clear that he would like to force brothels out of residential areas were he able to. Instead he has to satisfy himself with attempts to restrict the locations of brothels away from such places a churches. I cannot understand why he feels that those with irrational beliefs deserve protection from property rights and liberty. Why can’t I have an exclusion zone that keeps churches away from my house? Like brothels, churches make noise at annoying times of the day (i.e. Sunday morning) and the activities that go on inside them are most certainly offensive.

Other restrictions that Brewer would like to introduce would ensure that brothels cannot be “incompatible with an area’s character.” This is the same sort of tyrannical collectivist reasoning that results in dictatorial heritage restrictions and allows interfering community-minded busy-bodies to ramp up thousands of dollars in legal bills so people can make alterations to their own home.

One of the fundamental concepts that guarantee the rights of the individual are property rights. The right to do what you wish with your own body without violating the rights of others is inextricably linked with the right to do what you wish on your own property with the same proviso. Such concepts are completely foreign to Brewer, who chooses to keep his advocacy to ideas such as corporate welfare and general populist wowserism.

In 2013 the Auckland City Council needs candidates standing for election who do understand what liberty really is and will advance policies which minimise the Council’s relentless writing of regulations. Cameron Brewer is not that person. I wonder who will be?


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