Prostitution ban splits select committee

NZ Herald 14 Feb 2013
A parliamentary committee is still wrangling over whether the Government should ban prostitution from Auckland’s troublespots. The committee will hear submissions on the bill today, more than two years after it was introduced by former Labour MP George Hawkins. There has been interest in the law change because other cities, in particular Christchurch, were keen to have similar powers to ban prostitution near schools, family homes or sports facilities. The bill has been slow to progress because it was expanded to cover Auckland, instead of just Manukau, when the Super City was created. And there is still disagreement within the select committee on whether the problem could be dealt with by the Auckland Council instead of through costly and complex legislation. Labour MP for Manukau East Ross Robertson, the bill’s sponsor, said the council wanted to target three specific areas where the sex industry clashed with community activity. These spots were in Otahuhu, Manurewa, and at Hunters Corner in Papatoetoe.