Coercion of sex workers is illegal.
Until , indoor prostitution in New Zealand was governed by the Massage Parlours Act , which allowed brothels to operate in the guise of massage parlours. However, the act defined massage parlours as public places, so laws against soliciting in a public place applied to workers in parlours, and they were sometimes raided by police posing as clients. Advertising the sale of sex "soliciting" , running a brothel, and living off the earnings of prostitution were illegal.
Despite the Massage Parlours Act and other laws meant to suppress prostitution, there was considerable toleration of sex work in practice in the last decades of the 20th century. These laws were all changed by the Prostitution Reform Act in June The Bay of Islands and in particular the town of Kororareka was notorious for this and brothels proliferated. In some cases, the sex may have been part of a wider partnership between a tribe and a ship's crew, akin to a temporary marriage alliance. The amount of choice women had about their participation seems to have varied. Throughout this period there was a severe gender imbalance in the settler population and women were in short supply.
In the nineteenth century, prostitution was generally referred to as the "Social Evil". New Zealand was also amongst those dependencies that British authorities pressured into passing Contagious Diseases Acts ; New Zealand's was in force from — The gendered rationale and practice of venereal disease policy formed a focus for early feminist activism.
Prostitution-related statute law passed in the second half of the 20th century included the Crimes Act , the Massage Parlours Act , and the Summary Offences Act Section 26 of the Summary Offences Act prohibited soliciting, S of the Crimes Act prohibited brothel-keeping, and S living on the earnings of prostitution, and S procuring. In , the Crimes Act was amended to criminalise both clients and operators where workers were aged under 18 the age of consent for sexual activity is Young people under 18 were still classed as offenders after this came into force, until the passage of the Prostitution Reform Act The Massage Parlours Act effectively allowed indoor commercial sex under a facade.
Prostitutes advertised their services as "escorts", and brothels advertised themselves as "massage parlours".
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Workers in "massage parlours" were required to be registered with the police from the time the Massage Parlours Act came into force. In the mids, the police extended this registration ex-officio to other indoor workers in some areas of the country. The police had approached media outlets letting them know that they may be "aiding and abetting" sex workers commit crimes such as brothel keeping, etc. Labour returned to power — , and Tim Barnett Labour Christchurch Central — assumed responsibility for introducing it as a Private Member's Bill to decriminalise prostitution.
This was based on the harm reduction model of New South Wales The bill was introduced on 21 September , and placed in the ballot box, being drawn as number 3 and debated on 8 November as Bill , passing first reading Party support came from the Greens , notably Sue Bradford List, — It was opposed by New Zealand First , who proposed the Swedish approach of criminalising the purchase of sex.
It then proceeded to select committee Justice and Electoral ,  which received submissions and heard 66 submissions, amending and reporting in favour of the Bill on 29 November , following the election , the bill now being referred to as Bill This was a Private Member's Bill, and theoretically, members were allowed a conscience vote.
However, the three members of the — coalition Labour, Greens, Alliance all had decriminalisation in their manifestos. Later, the Prime Minister, Helen Clark , lent her support to the bill. During the parliamentary debates and committees, support came from some women's rights groups, some human rights groups, and some public health groups. The police were neutral.
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Some feminists opposed the decriminalisation of brothels and pimping see feminist views on prostitution , Christian groups were divided, and fundamentalist religious groups, including Right to Life, were opposed. This bill passed narrowly; of member of parliaments, 60 voted for it, 59 against, and one politician, Labour's Ashraf Choudhary , the country's only Muslim MP, abstained.
The result was a surprise, as most commentators had expected the bill to fail. An impassioned speech to parliament by Georgina Beyer , a transgender woman and former sex worker, was believed by many observers to have persuaded several wavering MPs, possibly including Mr Choudhary, to change their votes at the last minute. The Act replaced the previous legislation, including repealing the Massage Parlours Act, largely removing voluntary adult age 18 and over prostitution from the criminal law and replacing it with civil law at both national and local level. A distinction was made between voluntary and involuntary prostitution.
It remains a crime to coerce someone to provide sexual services. Sex work is also prohibited for those on temporary visas, and immigration for and investment in sex work is prohibited. Contracts between provider and client were recognised, and providers have the right to refuse services.
Contested contracts can be referred to the Disputes Tribunal. Advertising is banned, with the exception of print media, which is restricted. The Summary Offences Act remains in force in relation to soliciting, which may be classed as offensive behaviour. Sex work is recognised but not promoted as legitimate work by Work and Income New Zealand , who may not advertise vacancies in brothels or suggest people start sex work as a means of getting off a benefit.
Now, workplace safety and health rules, developed in consultation with the prostitutes' collective, apply to sex work. Employment disputes can be referred to the Labour Inspectorate and Mediation Service. There is an obligation on employers and employees to practise and promote safe sexual practices. The Ministry of Health has the responsibility for enforcement. Registration of indoor sex workers with the police was replaced by certification at an administrative law level of brothel operators.
Refusal of a certificate is permitted for prior criminal offences not necessarily related to prostitution. Police activities changed from the registration and prosecution of sex workers to protection. The Police Manual of Best Practice was amended to include prostitution.
Local government was empowered to develop by-laws for zoning and advertising, but not prohibit sex work. In summary, the Act decriminalised soliciting, living off the proceeds of someone else's prostitution, and brothel-keeping.
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Following passage of the Act, the Maxim Institute and other conservative Christian organisations tried to gain an appropriate number of signatures for a citizens-initiated referendum under the Citizens Initiated Referendum Act Local Government New Zealand provided model by-laws and procedures. Court challenges have usually failed to uphold more restrictive council by-laws.
By , 17 of 74 local governments had drafted or implemented by-laws. To help counter criticism,  the Prostitution Reform Act included a requirement that a review of the effects of the new law had to be conducted three to five years after it came into force. An initial report in September indicated that the number of sex workers on the streets was approximately the same as before the Act came into force and, in some cases, even slightly reduced, contrary to allegations that it has increased.
An examination of entry and exit factors showed that many sex workers said they desired to continue to sell sex, as financial return and independence were attractive features. Workers seemed more empowered, but there was still violence on the streets. It is clear that the Act did not decriminalise violence, and the Police take action about violence when sex workers make complaints c. Some deficiencies in safe practices, especially for oral sex, were identified.
Perceived stigma remained a problem. Inconsistencies were noted between local and central government intent, the former being more restrictive, causing problems for some workers. However, employment conditions still left a good deal to be desired. Stigma remained a major problem, and the traditional distrust of authorities also remained.
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Sex workers are now more willing to report crimes against them than they had been in the past. Following the release of the evaluation, suggestions of bias were raised, and critics such as the evangelical Christian TEAR Fund 's Humanitarian Chronicle stated that authors of the report were "supporters" of the sex industry and thus not "neutral". They stated that the situation was much worse than presented in the evaluation. Melissa Farley , an opponent of the legislation, stated that the decriminalisation of prostitution had very negative effects e. However, in reply to the claims Farley and others make, the Prostitution Law Review Committee 40 stated:.
In the Committee's first report, the number of street-based sex workers in Auckland was estimated to be PLRC, The Committee considers that the research undertaken by the CSOM conclusively refutes an increase of this magnitude, with the figures estimating the number of Auckland street-based sex workers at Information received from Immigration Service NZ indicates that no situations involving trafficking in the sex industry have been identified Department of Labour, Moves to restrict prostitution in New Zealand continue.
The party's last remaining MP was voted out of Parliament in , and it was subsequently absorbed into the Conservative Party of New Zealand. The party maintains the Kiwi Party's earlier opposition to prostitution law reform, but, like the Kiwi Party before it, polls well under the minimum threshold required for parliamentary list-only representation. In May , Elizabeth Subritzky submitted a petition on behalf of Freedom from Sexual Exploitation that asked the House of Representatives to "legislate for a national plan of action to combat street prostitution, including a law which makes the purchase of sexual services illegal" the Swedish model.
In its concluding comment, the committee stated: "We appreciate the petitioner's concerns about street prostitution. However, we are aware that the eradication of street-based prostitution has not proved to be achievable in any jurisdiction, and simply banning it may have negative consequences for the health and safety of sex workers. Yet, sex workers, who have been given their rights by Parliament in when sex work was decriminalised, continually have to defend themselves in parliament, fight the same battles, and time after time have to refute the same tired arguments based on invented figures.
As in other countries, New Zealand sex workers work in a variety of settings, including street prostitution and the indoor market in brothels and saunas, as well as for escort agencies and as independent workers. Street prostitution continues to dominate debates because of its visibility. Onlookers had shouted 'he should hang' at Clark as he arrived for the hearing with his Baptist pastor father Andrew.
Clark used chalk paint to write the words on the base of the Grade-II listed statue outside the Houses of Parliament on September 10, magistrates were told. A judge told Clark that he had 'caused great offence' and 'provoked a strong reaction' but his case was firmly about criminal damage.
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Clark, from Hertford, Hertfordshire, sat in the dock wearing a light blue shirt, green tie, and dark blue suit and did not speak except to confirm his identity and enter a guilty plea. Sentencing him, District Judge Tan Ikram said: 'You were part of an Extinction Rebellion protest, as a result of which you came into possession of some yellow chalk paint which you then sprayed on the base of the statue. Clark was arrested after the plinth of a monument to Winston Churchill in Parliament Square, London was defaced in September with yellow graffiti including the words 'is a racist'.
Lord Horatio Nelson's legacy will be reviewed by the National Maritime Museum as part of its efforts to challenge Britain's 'barbaric history of race and colonialism'. It holds the hero admiral's love letters and the coat he wore when he was killed during the Battle of Trafalgar in Internal documents revealed the museum seeks to capitalise on the 'momentum built up by the Black Lives Matter movement' and address the Royal Navy's links to slavery.
Displays and statues will be changed to reflect their 'more complex' nature as part of the museum's strategy to re-evaluate historical events. Nelson has been criticised for his support of slaveholders and the British Empire's colonies. Pictured: The museum's portrait of Nelson left and the bullet which killed him right.
It is also on display at the museum. It is not clear if the museum's documents highlight the fact that, after the British made the slave trade illegal in , the Royal Navy became a police force against the barbaric practice. Issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement will guide its new strategy, which will use a database to reveal Britain's links to slavery. Statues of Royal Navy heroes including Admiral Edward Pellew have also been brought into the publicly-funded museum's review of Britain's naval past. The Black Lives Matter movement was controversially defended by the National Trust chairman despite its radically left-wing and anti-police agenda.
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