Brothel owners escape penalties

NZ Herald 13 June 2013
A Chinese restaurant chef, who has been barred from re-entering New Zealand because she was found working part-time in an Auckland brothel, is crying foul at the lack of action taken against employers of migrant sex workers.

In the past 12 months, 25 brothels have been found by Immigration New Zealand investigators to be employing prostitutes who were here on temporary visas, such as international students, tourists or migrant workers.

Under the Prostitution Act 2003, only New Zealand citizens and people with residency can work in the sex industry.

People who allow a foreign national to provide commercial sexual services are considered to be “aiding and abetting a person to remain in New Zealand unlawfully or breach the conditions of their visa” and face penalties of up to seven years’ imprisonment and/or fines of up to $100,000.

But the agency’s acting fraud and compliance manager, Dean Blakemore, said no action had been taken against the 25 brothel owners, including the central Auckland parlour which employed the Chinese chef.