29 May 2013

Give police powers to deal with prostitution, says councillor

8:32 pm on 29 May 2013

An Auckland councillor says a non-statutory approach has not succeeded in regulating street prostitution in South Auckland.

The comment comes ahead of a meeting of key players on Thursday on other ways of addressing the issue.

A bill - which has been before the Local Government and Environment select committee since 2010 - empowers councils to ban prostitution in certain public places and police to arrest and fine anyone breaching the rules.

Select committee chair, National MP Nicky Wagner, says legislation may not be the best answer to the problem and plans to explore other options that all parties agree on.

However, Auckland councillor George Wood says police need to be given the power to intervene.

Mr Wood says the council has tried non-statutory ways to drive street sex workers away from residential areas and these have failed.

Police, the Prostitutes Collective and the chair of the Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board are among those who will attend the closed meeting.