Monday, August 23, 2010

Like a zombie from the grave

Four years ago, Parliament voted down the Manukau City Council (Control of Street Prostitution) Bill, which aimed to ban prostitution within Manukau. But bad ideas never die (just look at NeoLiberal economics), and thanks to Labour's wowser-in-chief, George Hawkins, the bill is back, like a zombie from the grave.

The new version removes the most odious provisions of the old bill, which were formally recognised as violating the BORA. But the core is still there: a local ban on street prostitution, so the Decent Folk of Manukau won't have to be reminded that not everyone shares their values. This is both illiberal and constitutionally improper; the Parliament of New Zealand has legalised prostitution, and it is not the place of local authorities to second-guess that decision.

The bill is a local bill, so it will take precedence on the Order Paper on Wednesday next member's day. I'll be paying close attention to the vote.

Correction: The bill is up for first reading next member's day, not this one.