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Report adds fire to south Auckland sex stoush

Published: 7:39AM Monday July 16, 2012 Source: ONE News

Residents fighting to rid their streets of prostitutes are hoping a new report will bolster their case.
The document is aimed at putting pressure on the Government to allow Auckland Council to outlaw sex workers from certain areas.

It includes personal accounts from business owners and residents highlighting the challenges they face from prostitution in their suburbs, including turf wars between prostitutes and business owners.

The book sets out the reasons why a bill, which would see prostitution banned from certain areas of Manukau such as Hunter's Corner, is needed.

Placards in hand, Manukau residents came out to support the release of the report.

Papatoetoe local John Lee was forced to move from the area when things became too close to home.

"A couple against the fence were copulating and my ten-year-old daughter was awake and screamed out at them and that's when we decided we have to go," he said.

That was ten years ago, but current locals say things have not improved.

"We had a parcel delivered to us recently and the address was 'Hooker's Corner' and it found its way to us with no problems whatsoever," said local Bernie Taylor.

"We see properties for sale for sometimes months and months on end."

ONE News spoke to six real estate agents working in the area, and while none would appear on camera, several admit street prostitution still puts off would-be buyers.

The Prostitutes Collective says outlawing popular streets will only encourage sex workers to stop carrying condoms to avoid getting caught.

"They'll be expected to pay a fine which they can't pay. They'll go to court, then they have to come back on to the streets and work to pay them off. It's just going to clog up our justice system," said Prostitute Collective Auckland spokeswoman Annah Pickering.

Parliament's local government select committee is expected to report back on the Bill by the end of this month.

If the Bill is passed it would ban street workers from some residential, school and sports areas.

It would 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.

Supporters of the bill say the Prostitution Reform Act simply needs to be better regulated.