Monday, December 08, 2014

Reported back

The Local Government and Environment Committee has finally - after four years - reported back on the Manukau City Council (Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill and recommended that it not be passed. Good. The bill was an effort by South Auckland moral conservatives to recriminalise prostitution piecemeal, one council at a time. Its was both contrary to the expressed will of Parliament and a dangerous balkanisation of New Zealand law - not to mention simply stupid social policy. The select committee has grasped this, and instead recommended that the Auckland Council regulate street prostitutes as street traders and reduce its impacts by installing public toilets and better lighting. Which is a sensible solution, but unlikely to satisfy those moral conservatives who want to turn the clock back to the days when prostitutes were effectively outside the law.

The bill is likely to be voted down next member's day, in early February. And good riddance to it. Unfortunately its already come back from the dead once, and Auckland might simply keep wasting Parliament's time on this issue.