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MP to tackle growing underage prostitution numbers

Published: 9:00AM Wednesday March 27, 2013 Source: ONE News

Underage prostitutes are earning up to $600 a night in South Auckland, an MP claims.

NZ First MP Asenati Lole-Taylor says she has spoken to a sex worker who was as young as 13 who told her she was making up to $600 a night.

Lole-Taylor told the NZ Herald the girl told her the prices she charges for different sexual services.

She said the parents of underage girls operating in the area often did not know where their daughters were, and they had told them they were at a friend's house doing homework.

Tina Herewini, who has been a Maori warden in Otara for 27 years, says the young girls are learning from older prostitutes.

"They tell me they are doing it because they can. It's legal," she told the NZ Herald.

Lole-Taylor has drafted a Member's Bill which aims to outlaw street prostitution and would restrict all sex work to brothels.

The Prostitution Reform (Control of Street Prostitution) Amendment Bill, would make it easy for police to arrest prostitutes working on the streets, which Lole-Taylor says will "allow people to again feel safe in their neighbourhoods".

She says it goes further than the Regulation Prostitution in Specified Areas Bill, which provides for local bylaw control over the locations where prostitution may occur.

A parliamentary select committee last month heard submissions on the Bill, which would ban street workers from some residential, school and sports areas.

It would also mean fines of up to $2000 for prostitutes caught soliciting in banned areas, and police would have the power to stop their clients' cars and arrest them too.

The Prostitution Reform Act created some of the most liberal prostitution laws in the world and has continued to attract global attention since it was passed in 2003.