Ashburton Council Should Protect Families From Brothels

Family First NZ is calling on the Ashburton District Council to respond to the concerns of families and prevent brothels being established in residential areas.

“Family First has been contacted by families concerned about the proposed residential brothel. It is not sufficient for the Council to say that their hands are tied,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “Councils have every right under the law to restrict the location of brothels. They should push the location of brothels to areas well away from children and families.”

“To allow brothels next to a family home is unacceptable. Nobody expects to have their largest investment suddenly neighbouring a brothel. We have accounts from around the country of home brothels where people willing to pay for sex are disturbing nearby homes trying to find the brothel. In one recent example in Auckland, there was full-frontal nudity in the windows, and bus loads of men streaming in on hourly rotations.”

“There are also concerns about noise, traffic, and late-night visits. We must not expose our children and families to that level of risk.”

“The Local Government Act empowers Councils to provide for, amongst other things, the social and environmental well-being of communities. The local district plan is already likely to be at odds with the potential activity of the brothel. The Council needs to be proactive rather than turning a blind eye to the potential harm on families.”

Two out of three New Zealanders want the prostitution laws amended to ban brothels in residential areas. In the poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research in March, respondents were asked “Should the prostitution laws be amended to specifically ban brothels in residential areas?” 66% want brothels banned in residential areas, 26% disagreed, and the remainder (8%) were either unsure or refused to answer.

“Family First acknowledges that the prostitution law is a dog’s breakfast and it’s time that the politicians got their act sorted out on this issue. But in the meantime, we urgently need local councils to make the hard calls and act in the interests of families,” says Mr McCoskrie.

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