Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rodney Hide's bastard offspring

Last year, Rodney Hide foisted a supercity on Auckland, amalgamating parts of it that didn't want to be amalgamated, under a council structure designed to shut Aucklanders out of the government of their own city. Now, that amalgamation is having some unforseen consequences. Back in 2010, Len Brown's Manukau City Council put forward a local bill to recriminalise street prostitution in their district - a singularly bad idea which would have returned prostitutes to the status of outlaws, allowing them to be victimised and abused at will. Now, thanks to Rodney Hide, that bill is going to be extended to cover the whole of Auckland.

The details are in the latest Puketapapa Local Board agenda [PDF], as item 18. The council is putting up a supplementary order paper to amend the scope of the bill to cover all of Auckland. Which means that the council will be able to impose their particular moral view not just on the people of Manukau, but also on the rest of Auckland as well. The bill is currently before a select committee, but is scheduled to report back in early September - just in time for the election.

The amendments mean that the bill is no longer what was voted on at first reading. Those who helped pass it to select committee - the list of the guilty is here - might want to consider whether they really support the effective recriminalisation of prostitution, with all the evil that that entails, in New Zealand's largest city. And if they do, they should have the guts to be open and honest about it, rather than hiding behind a collection of local body wowsers.