Media Release 1 March 2013
A poll of New Zealanders has found that three out of four voters think Councils should have the power to prevent brothels such as the Chow brother’s high-rise brothel in Auckland being established in central city areas. And almost 9 out of 10 respondents support Maori party MP Te Ururoa Flavell’s Gambling Harm Reduction Bill which seeks to cut the number of pokie machines. Three out of four also supported a law which would require large billboards to be family-friendly.
In the poll of 1,000 people undertaken by Curia Market Research, respondents were asked “Should Councils have the power to prevent brothels being established in central city areas frequented by families and tourists?”. 73% said yes, 22% no, and 6% unsure/refused. Support was strongest from younger respondents. Auckland City Council recently gave approval to a ‘sex hotel’ in the central city area which will be offensive to many families and will open the floodgates to other similar red-light developments.
“The Auckland Council ignored the overwhelming number of submissions questioning the location and the effect of the brothel on the character of the central city area,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “They also ignored the provisions of the Resource Management Act, the Prostitution Reform Act and the council’s own District Plan which requires it to give due consideration to the location of the mega-brothel and to consider issues such as ‘adverse effects’, activities ‘likely to cause a nuisance or serious offence to ordinary members of the public using the area’, and ‘compatability with the existing character’ of the area.”
The poll also found support for a bill aimed at reducing the number of pokie machines. Respondents were asked “A bill before Parliament proposes to allow councils to cut the number of pokie machines in areas where they are thought to be particularly harmful. Do you support this proposal or not?” 87% said yes, with just 9% opposed.
“Problem gambling not only affects the individuals involved, but also their families – and ultimately society has to pick up the pieces. It’s time that we confronted the issue of the high proliferation of machines – especially in the most socio-economically deprived areas,” says Bob McCoskrie,
“A 2008 study outlined the socio-economic impact of gambling, stating that there are many tangible and intangible costs on health and wellness, including poor health or morbidity, stress, depression and anxiety, suicide or other premature mortality, substance abuse (alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs related to gambling), and loss of value of time with family and friends.”
The polling also found 72% of respondents supporting large public billboards being G-rated suitable for children to view. Strongest support came from women and Labour voters.
The nationwide poll was carried out during February and has a margin of error of +/- 3.2%.