Brothel upsets posh residents

Herald on Sunday Jan 16, 2011
Police have accused Auckland Council of failing to enforce prostitution bylaws after finding illegal workers in a raid on an upmarket brothel three blocks away from the home of the Prime Minister. Horrified neighbours say the sex business popped up “literally overnight” in a $750,000 townhouse within their Parnell residential complex. They claim the once-quiet Cleveland Mews has been sullied by full-frontal nudity in the windows, and bus loads of men streaming in on hourly rotations. After they complained to the council, police paid a visit and found two of the four prostitutes inside were working illegally on student visas. Neighbours had also alleged there were underage prostitutes, but police found this was not the case. Police referred the illegal workers to Immigration NZ but, because the brothel otherwise complied with the law, police were not able to close it down. Smallburn explained the property fell within a “mixed use” zone, where the sex-trade was allowed and a resource consent was not needed. The brothel does not have to be licensed, either, as long as there are no more than four prostitutes working there. Residents have now hired a lawyer to draft an amendment to the body corporate rules in a last-ditch attempt to prevent more sex workers moving in.Catherine Hedges, who lives only metres away from the brothel, has called an extraordinary general meeting for residents and landlords next week. “We all feel anxious,” she said. “I don’t care about what they’re doing behind closed doors, but I’m anxious about what comes with it,” Hedges said. She said clients had sometimes knocked at the wrong doors late at night, or parked their cars over driveways. Daytime business also seemed to be bustling, with men coming and going while children rode their bikes in the courtyard, according to another neighbour, who has three young children. “Men are showing up for the matinee show, and by that I mean an afternoon of sex, and knocking on the wrong door,” he said. “The other day I saw a mini bus pull up and eight Asian men all went in at the same time.”
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A new residential brothel in Parnell could highlight a national issue, a family group hopes. Bob McCoskrie hopes the brothel will be a wake up call for John Key.
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Family First NZ hopes news that a residential brothel has started operating in the area where the Prime Minister’s lives will prompt a change in the law.
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