Ban Street Prostitution & Residential Brothels – Poll

Media Release 29 December 2017
A nationwide poll has found strong support for banning both street prostitution and residential brothels.

In a poll of 1,000 New Zealanders by Curia Market Research and commissioned by Family First NZ, 76% say that local councils should have the ability to ban street prostitution in their local areas as they see appropriate. Only 19% said they should not have this ability, with a further 6% unsure. Highest support for the ban came from women (83%). Based on their party vote at the last election, National (83%) and Labour (76%) supporters were most supportive of banning street prostitution, with the lowest support (54%) from Green voters.

When asked whether brothels – including home-based brothels – should be allowed to operate in residential areas, 61% said they shouldn’t, 14% were unsure, and 25% said they should be allowed. Once again, females were more likely to oppose their presence (69%). National and NZ First voters (both 71%) were most supportive of a ban.

“The ‘red light’ district should never be given the ‘green light’ in residential and family areas. There have been ongoing concerns about the negative effects of street prostitution and the associated conduct in Christchurch and also South Auckland, and the local councils have been powerless to act appropriately. Residential brothels have also caused huge concern to families and communities in a number of cities around New Zealand. But families shouldn’t be the victims of weak law-making,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.

“The negative effects of street prostitution include increased littering of condoms, syringes and wet wipes, noise and nuisance, offensive behaviour, traffic issues at night, a reduced sense of public safety, and a decline in property values.”

When introducing the provisions in 2004 to give control of the placement of brothels to local councils, the then-Minister of Justice, the Hon Phil Goff said: “.. most would also clearly desire, in the event of decriminalisation, some controls to prevent the establishment of places of prostitution where they are offensive or inappropriate. Most of us would not want to see brothels established in residential areas or adjacent to preschools or schools.” 

“A subsequent bill to ban street prostitution was rejected by all political parties except NZ First in 2015.” 

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

Family First NZ is joining calls for a critical review of the 2003 Prostitution Reform Act, the criminalisation of the pimping and purchase of women for sexual purposes, and greater support for workers wishing to exit prostitution.

The nationwide poll was carried out during November and has a margin of error of +/- 3.4%.


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