Newmarket Residential Brothel Harms Families

Media Release 23 December 2015
Family First NZ says that the ability for a brothel to operate from a residential apartment block in Newmarket in close proximity to other families in the neighbouring apartments and above a family restaurant highlights the flaw in the prostitution law reform, and that this outcome goes against what the politicians promised to families when decriminalising prostitution.

“Brothels – no matter how large or small – simply shouldn’t be in residential areas or near sensitive sites such as schools, churches, maraes or family shopping precincts and restaurants,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“Before decriminalisation, the prostitution industry was predominantly a red-light district issue. Since decriminalisation, the industry has moved right next door to a family home, above a restaurant and opposite a school or kindy.”

“We are being regularly contacted by families around the country who are opposed to brothels opening next door to family homes, and within a short distance of sensitive sites such as schools, playgrounds, and playcentres.”

“Accounts of home brothels (SOOB’s) where men willing to pay for sex are visiting nearby homes trying to find the brothel, and concerns about noise, traffic, intimidation, and late-night visits are common experiences from having a brothel in a residential area or next to a school. Brothels are a business which have no place in residential areas,” says Mr McCoskrie.

In a poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research in 2011, 66% wanted brothels banned in residential areas, 26% disagreed, and the remainder (8%) were either unsure or refused to answer. More women than men wanted the ban.

“The fallout from the naïve decriminalisation of prostitution has affected both residential areas and family shopping areas and the local councils have been powerless to act,” says Mr McCoskrie.

“The decriminalisation of prostitution has been a community disaster harming families, businesses, and the welfare of workers caught in the industry. Cities throughout NZ have been trying to deal with the ‘hospital pass’ given by the politicians when they passed this law. It’s time they fixed the law.”

Family First is encouraging residents to continue their battles against residential brothels and to continue to tell politicians that they must listen to the concerns of local communities.

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