8 Dec 2012

Councillor baffled by vote to keep suburban brothels

3:00 pm on 8 December 2012

Christchurch city councillor Aaron Keown says he is baffled by the council's vote in favour of allowing brothels to keep operating in suburban areas.

A council hearing panel of which Mr Keown is a member had recommended restricting brothels to the central city, but a majority of councillors (eight out of 12) voted against the restriction.

It was one of several potential new rules being considered for a revised brothels bylaw.

Mr Keown says public submissions to the panel showed residents do not want brothels in suburban areas. "It might not sound a lot," he says, "but it was 10 that said 'Put brothels in the inner city only'.

"Now we didn't have any that said 'Put them in the suburbs' - so that's like a 10-nil to keep them in the inner city. People just don't like the idea of having a brothel near their school or their house."

The council has also asked the hearing panel to identify a commercial area in Lyttelton that would be suitable for operator-run brothels, even though the panel had suggested the town be a brothel-free area.

The council will consider the bylaw again before the end of the year.