Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Good news on Auckland prostitution ban

It looks like the Manukau City Council (Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill - which is being extended to cover the whole of Auckland - is going to be voted down:

A bill giving Auckland Council the power to ban street prostitution in public places like Hunters Corner and Northcrest looks unlikely to be passed into law, the MP sponsoring it says.

Manurewa MP George Hawkins says soundings among MPs from all parties indicate the bill "won't get very far at all" even if it gets out of select committee before the November elections. There's little support for it, despite MPs voting 82-36 last September to send it for public submissions, Mr Hawkins says.

"People from right across the House weren't in favour of seeing the bill passed into law but they were prepared to let people have their say on it in select committee."

This is good news. The bill was an abomination which would have effectively overturned the Prostitution Reform Act in Auckland, reducing prostitutes to outlaws again and allowing them to be victimised and abused at will. The problem it purported to solve was one of Manukau City Council's own making, caused by their attempts to outlaw small brothels. I'd like to think that the bill failing a second time (it has already been voted down once) will cause them to rethink their approach and remove the ban which is causing the problem; sadly, I suspect they'll simply put it up again, in the hope of getting it through if they just keep on whining.