Ashburton’s brothel now on the backburner

Ashburton Guardian May 24 2011

The licensee of a Christchurch escort agency is shelving plans to establish a brothel in Ashburton. Plans for the brothel were opposed by ministers of the town and Family First, but that had nothing to do with the licensee’s decision, she said yesterday. The woman said she had put the Ashburton brothel plan “on the backburner” due to “family matters”. She took a swipe at conservative Ashburton. “That would just make me more determined. Ashburton has got to change with the times, we are now 2011.” Ministers in the town have been opposed to the brothel, and last week met specifically on the issue. Yesterday New Life pastor Rob Davison had no comment but said the group was to meet again today and was planning to put out a press release on Thursday. National director of Family First, Bob McCoskrie, said it was “good news” the brothel was being shelved. He doubted the licensee’s claim that opposition had not swayed her decision, as community backlash in other areas of the country had prevented brothels opening in residential areas. The organisation would monitor when the Ashburton District Council’s next by-law and district plan review was, and support families, community and church groups in making submissions. The Prostitution Reform Act legalised prostitution, “but it’s not a free for all” and council had to consider the welfare and protection of families. “We would like it (council rules) toughened up so families don’t freak out,” Mr McCoskrie said. The issue attracted correspondence to the Guardian, and one writer said yesterday it was “great news” to hear about plans being shelved.
Ministers may take action against brothels
Ashburton Guardian 28 May 2011
Ashburton Ministers’ Association spokesman David Bayne said the ministers were seeking advice about using the District Plan to “protect” the community. “We are in the process of asking for the Ashburton District Council’s commitment to protecting the overall social wellbeing of our community by means of a variation to the District Plan.” The association believes “that prostitution remains an affront to human wholeness and dignity for both men and women”. It also “demeaned sexual activity by reducing what ought to be a personal relationship to a commercial activity”, the association said following a meeting this week.