Brothel next to primary school draws fire

NZ Herald 27 January 2012
A brothel that has set up shop next to an Auckland primary school has been slammed by lobby group Family First. Firecats Escorts is operating from an apartment on Brown Street, Ponsonby – less than 300 metres from Richmond Road Primary School. The brothel employs 30 prostitutes and operates seven days a week. Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ, said the brothel’s location is “unacceptable”, and highlights the flaws of New Zealand’s prostitution laws. “We already have accounts of residential brothels where men, willing to pay for sex, are knocking on nearby homes trying to find the brothel,” said Mr McCoskrie. “There are also concerns about littering, noise and nuisance, a reduced sense of public safety, traffic, intimidation, and late-night visits.” Mr McCoskrie said when prostitution was legalised, the then-Minister of Justice, the Hon Phil Goff, said controls were needed to prevent brothels operating in “inappropriate or offensive” places, such as near preschools or schools. At present there are no restrictions that prevent brothels from operating near schools. A poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research last year found that 66 per cent wanted brothels banned in residential areas. More women than men were in favour of the ban.
Brothel ‘can stay near school’
NZ Herald 28 January 2012
The operation of an unlicensed brothel next to a primary school in Ponsonby has been put forward as evidence that prostitution laws are flawed – but the Auckland Council says to shut it would be unfair. Residents have circulated flyers drawing attention to Firecats Escorts operating from a Brown St apartment near Richmond Rd Primary School. The school year begins on February 7 but the council has opted not to use its powers to shut the brothel while it processes a resource consent application. Brothels are considered “entertainment facilities” and can operate near the school because the area is zoned for mixed business use. However, because Firecats is within 30m of a residential zone, it is required to apply for consent, which it did late last month. The application has been on hold since the council asked the brothel’s owners for more information on Wednesday. They have 15 working days to respond – but can operate in the meantime. Waitemata Local Board member Tricia Reade, who has received more than 20 complaints from residents, said that made little sense.
Family First unhappy about brothel
Newstalk ZB 29 January 2012
Family First is unhappy about a brothel being allowed to run in an apartment block right next to a school. Firecats Escorts is operating from an apartment alongside Richmond Rd Primary School in Auckland. Children return to school soon, but Auckland Council has opted not to use its powers to shut the brothel while it processes a resource consent application. Family First’s Bob McCoskrie believes the situation confirms his belief prostitution laws need to be changed. He says the decriminalisation of prostitution has been a community disaster.

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Brothel by school a shock for flat owner

NZ Herald 30 January 2012
The owner of a Ponsonby apartment next to a primary school says she had no idea her tenants would be running an unlicensed brothel. The woman received threatening and abusive phone calls after her name and home phone number were printed on a flyer circulated to residents warning of the brothel. She has since contacted the police and a security firm…

Secondary Principals’ Association president Patrick Walsh said in the past year he had spoken to principals from about four schools with brothels nearby. Mr Walsh said in some cases children had come across used syringes and condoms near schools, necessitating clean-ups by gloved teachers. Last year a brothel that opened across the street from Henderson Intermediate School shut down after protest from parents and teachers. But Prostitutes Collective national co-ordinator Catherine Healy said for the most part brothels were understated and did not attract a lot of activity. “It’s fanciful for people to complain about brothels being near schools contributing to offensive behaviour, because you can’t even see the behaviour for a start – it’s all behind closed doors.”