An early critique of the New Zealand Prostitution Reform Act 2003

Jurriaan Bendien bendien at
Sat Jul 19 08:06:19 MDT 2003

Prostitution legalisation good for business
Thursday, 12 June 2003, 4:52 pm
Press Release: Maxim Institute

Prostitution legalisation good for business

Amendments to the Prostitution Reform Bill will increase the size of the
prostitution industry and be good for those selling women for sex, Maxim
Institute warns.

MPs last night narrowly approved amendments that would require brothels to
hold licences issued by districts courts, to try and ensure they were not
run by criminals. Councils would also be able to control where brothels

Maxim spokesman Scott McMurray says if the prostitution bill is finally
passed with these amendments, New Zealand will be in a similar position to
Victoria in Australia.

Mr McMurray says legalisation of prostitution in Victoria has caused an
alarming escalation of legal and illegal brothels and businesses providing
sexual services.

Prior to the 1994 Prostitution Control Act, there were an estimated 50
illegal brothels in Victoria. In 1999 there were 84 legal brothels, and
authorities were considering an additional 90 applications.

In 1999 police estimated there were more than 100 illegal brothels. The
police acknowledge that legalisation has not controlled prostitution. Chief
Inspector John Ashby of the Vice Squad said, "I suppose there was this
utopian view that legalising prostitution would minimise street and illegal
prostitution. It clearly hasn't done that".

Even the bill's sponsor, Tim Barnett MP acknowledges that the worldwide
experience of legalisation inevitably results in an illegal unlicensed
sector. Mr Barnett's promotional material for decriminalisation says, "It
supports big businesses at the expense of workers in the industry", and
quotes a report on Victoria where it is estimated nearly 70% of brothels
operate illegally.

Research also shows that prostitutes suffer from deep psychological harm as
a result of prostitution. Why then, would we want to legalise an industry
which is inherently harmful and exploits women? says Scott McMurray.

"This bill is not about protection for women. It's about protection for

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