Remuera brothel forced to close by neighbours

Auckland Now 7 Dec 2011
A brothel in suburban Remuera has been successfully shut down thanks to the persistence of neighbours. Neighbours fought for three months to get rid of the illegal Asoct Ave brothel. They took photos, jotted down car registrations and took notes of the comings and goings – and now their hard work has paid off. ”It’s very satisfying to know that it’s not in our front yard,” says one neighbour. ”We certainly knew it wasn’t happy families across the road. There were all types of unsavoury characters at all times of the day and night.”

Auckland Council resource consents manager David Oakhill confirmed the business has stopped operating. ”The brothel at Ascot Ave has closed as a result of an investigation carried out by Auckland Council staff. We found the business that was operating from the address to be unlawful and as a result an abatement notice was issued requiring the activity to cease,” he says. ”The operators of the business complied with the notice and ceased the activity at this location. We are currently considering the option of further enforcement action.” The neighbour says it took about three months of residents gathering evidence and liaising with the council before the tenants were ordered to stop. She says they called the landlord, informed Auckland Council and the Orakei Local Board and talked to others who had faced the same problem. She says the key was to take the initiative and create ”bottom-up community pressure”.

Residents’ action shuts brothel in Remuera
NZ Herald 8 Dec 2011
An unlicensed brothel in Remuera has closed after neighbours collected evidence that included men paying for sex after church on Sunday. Acting on evidence collected by a neighbourhood support group, the Auckland Council investigated and found the brothel at Ascot Ave did not have resource consent. City officials issued an abatement notice ordering the bordello to cease operating. When council officers visited the property a week later, the $1 million-plus home was empty. One of the neighbours who collected evidence said they received an anonymous letter saying there were illegal immigrants working as prostitutes at the house. The letter gave telephone numbers for the Asian woman running the brothel. “We were very unhappy about having a brothel in our neighbourhood. There were men hanging around, people coming to our doors and knocking looking for the prostitutes. They were blocking the road … and even parking in the St Aidan’s Anglican Church carpark [on Remuera Rd]. “It is unbelievable the men that come and go. Young, old, every nationality you can imagine. Some in their turbans after church on a Sunday,” said the neighbour, who did not want to be named.

Tomorrow, the council’s regulatory and bylaws committee will consider the issue of reviewing the brothels and commercial sex premises bylaws inherited from the seven former territorial councils. On the vexed issue of the location of brothels, a number of local boards do not want them or other commercial sex premises in residential areas and think there should be a minimum distance from schools and churches. The Prostitutes Collective and some in the sex industry want the industry to be self-regulated.

Remuera residents applauded for brothel shut down
Newstalk ZB 8/12/2011
A group of Remuera residents is being applauded by a family rights group for having an illegal brothel shut down…Family First’s Bob McCoskrie says families shouldn’t be exposed to the unsavoury characters connected to brothels. He says residents in Green Lane, Albany and Christchurch share similar concerns, but haven’t been able to get the councils and the police on board.