Brothel driven from suburb

Christchurch Press 27 Feb 2012
A controversial Christchurch brothel is set to close its doors in an upmarket suburb, but the spread of the sex trade across the city cannot be stopped, a city councillor says. About 50 community members attended a public “Families and Brothels Don’t Mix” meeting on Saturday to force the Capri Lounge out of its Merivale premises. In an email to a community group, the landlady of the Papanui Rd property, Marie McFarland, said the Capri Lounge operator – her son’s partner – would move the business within a “few weeks”. “I have no particular stance on brothels per se,” McFarland said. “They are now legally entitled to exist … That said, I can appreciate the concerns of neighbouring residents, and were I in your position, I may very well share those concerns.” Families and Brothels Don’t Mix spokeswoman Amanda Cooper-Davies said the brothel had turned their neighbourhood into a “seedy” and “intimidating” place to live. “We have seen some pretty scary people … some very threatening people come out of the property.” Neighbours had complained of hearing “audible noises of climax”. Several people at the meeting urged the city council to keep brothels out of Christchurch suburbs. But Cr Sue Wells, who chairs the council’s prostitution working party, told the audience small owner operator brothels were “all over the city”.