Critics say no to Qtown brothels

The Southland Times 21/10/2010
In three days, 10 people from around New Zealand have voiced strong opposition to brothels in Queenstown and Wanaka, saying they would attract “gangs, drug and alcohol abuse”. The Queenstown Lakes District Council began calling for submissions on its Draft Brothel Control Bylaw only on Monday and already 10 submissions have arrived, from as far north as Hikurangi, in Northland, to Invercargill, Mosgiel and Dunedin. Submissions close on November 22. Hikurangi resident Gaylene Thompson says in her submission the atmosphere of Queenstown would be “totally destroyed” and made into a “cheap imitation of oh so many overseas towns/cities what a tragedy that would be”. “We have friends who live in the area and they are disgusted,” she wrote. “Please respect our country and the Christian principles on which it was founded and retain your controls over these undesirable institutions.” Dunedin man Ray McKendry, who regularly holidays in Wanaka, said the area did not need any “red-light districts”. “It’s sheer exploitation of the women of Queenstown, and Wanaka and I object to it.” Others making submissions called for a “buffer zone” of up to 200m between any brothels and sensitive sites to prevent any unnecessary exposure of the sex industry to children and families and to “prevent normalisation of the behaviour”. “The community does not want brothels in public shopping areas,” Invercargill submitter Vili Sotutu says. The council was also urged by submitters to maintain the existing bylaw, including its ban on street prostitution, and support the private member’s bill before Parliament attempting to ban street prostitution.