Christchurch sex workers: Life on Manchester St

Stuff 4 April 2015
No little girl dreams of this dressing room. Anna hunches on the concrete beam scratching around in her bag for her high heel boots.

The ground is a mat of shingle and damp dirt.

Even the weeds have given up trying to grow in this dank corner of Christchurch’s red light district. A digger tyre serves as Anna’s vanity table. On it rests a sparkly card holder full of condoms.

It is bitter July night in Christchurch – the kind of cold that eats through each layer of clothing. But instead of putting clothes on, Anna is taking them off.

She is a prostitute on Manchester St.

She shivers, but it is barely noticeable from her hands that are shaking, because Anna, 25, is dependent on alcohol.

“We all put on a show on how we can do this,” she says. “But yeah, it’s hard.”