‘Lack of leadership’ over prostitution bylaw

Stuff co.nz 11 December 2014
Community leaders are “bitterly disappointed” that a long-awaited street prostitution law has been scrapped by a parliamentary select committee.

The Manukau City Council (Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill would have let Auckland Council make a bylaw banning street prostitution in specified areas.

But instead the Local Government and Environment Select Committee has recommended the council look at other ways to control street prostitutes, such as using bylaws controlling street vendors.

Former Manukau East MP Ross Robertson, who was the sponsor of the bill until he retired from Parliament in September, said the move is “outrageous”.

“I feel like the select committee has given us a one-finger salute. They don’t live in the community so they’re not affected by it.”

The bill has been on the order paper since 2010 after a similar move by former MP George Hawkins in 2005 failed.

Robertson, who is now an Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board member, said he has worked tirelessly over the past few years to reach an agreement with the police, the council and the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective.