6 Apr 2013

Residents angry about street prostitution

5:29 pm on 6 April 2013

Concerns about a perceived increase in street prostitution in Papatoetoe were expressed at a meeting attended by about 100 people on Saturday.

The fiery meeting was hosted by New Zealand First.

Many voiced outrage and disgust at what they claim is an increasing number of sex workers in the area, with some as young as 13.

NZ First MP, Asenati Lole-Taylor, said the party's Prostitution Reform Amendment Bill would ban all street prostitution and confine sex workers to brothels.

Ms Lole-Taylor said it was bad for young children to be out on the streets soliciting themselves for a quick buck from what she called - "greasy lowlifes".

Her comments received cheers and support from the crowd.

But a spokesperson from Streetreach, which provides a confidential support service for those involved in prostitution, was heckled when she said there has been a drop off in the number working the area's streets.

People at the meeting said officials don't understand the scale of the problem and want the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 extended to ban street prostitutes.

Politicians told the residents they agree something needs to change, even if it's just getting prostitutes out of residential areas.

But some residents accused the politicians of just saying what they want to hear and challenged them to actually make a difference by strengthening the Act.