Media Release 26 Sep 2017
Family First NZ is accusing politicians of turning a blind eye to the harmful effects of prostitution to families, and is calling for the rights of families in Christchurch to take precedence over the prostitution industry.
“There have been ongoing concerns about the negative effects of street prostitution and the associated conduct in Christchurch and also South Auckland, and the local councils have been powerless to act. But families shouldn’t be the victims of weak lawmaking,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ.
“The negative effects of street prostitution include increased littering of condoms, syringes and wet wipes, noise and nuisance, offensive behaviour, traffic issues at night, a reduced sense of public safety, and a decline in property values.”
“It is a national disgrace that we are exposing our children and families to that level of risk,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“And the politicians have failed to deliver – both when the law was introduced in 2004 and when a bill to deal with this exact issue was rejected by all the parties except NZ First in 2015.
When introducing the provisions in 2004 to give control of the placement of brothels to local councils, the then-Minister of Justice, the Hon Phil Goff said: “.. most would also clearly desire, in the event of decriminalisation, some controls to prevent the establishment of places of prostitution where they are offensive or inappropriate. Most of us would not want to see brothels established in residential areas or adjacent to preschools or schools. My amendment would allow the local territorial authorities, the councils, to prohibit the establishment of, or order the removal of, a brothel in an area where it would cause a nuisance or serious offence to ordinary members of the public. That would not enable territorial authorities to place a general ban on brothels.”
“Unfortunately, this has been a spectacular failure – and families are suffering because of it. Residential brothels. Street prostitution outside family homes and shopping centres.”
“The political parties who rejected the recent attempts to ban street prostitution need to explain to these Christchurch families why their safety and wellbeing aren’t that important,” says Mr McCoskrie.
“Communities throughout NZ are not accepting the liberalised and harmful prostitution laws.”
“The decriminalisation of prostitution has been a community disaster harming families, businesses, and the welfare of workers caught in the industry. Cities throughout NZ have been trying to deal with the ‘hospital pass’ given by the politicians when they passed this law.”