This week the House voted to send the Manukau City Council (Regulation of Prostitution in Specified Places) Bill to select committee by 82-36. The bill’s purpose is:
This Bill provides for local bylaw control over the locations where the business of prostitution or commercial sexual services may occur when that business or those services take place or are conducted other than in a brothel or a small owner-operated brothel in Manukau City.
Ironic the bill has its first reading a few weeks before the Council disappears. I guess it can be amended to the Auckland Council, but am not sure the Auckland Council wants the power.
I was an active support of Tim Barnett’s bill to legalise prostitution (or more correctly solicitation). But I do appreciate Manukau does have some specific problems, and generally favouring the subsidiarity principle.
If I was an MP, I probably would have voted Yes at first reading – mainly to allow select committee submissions.
The Clerk’s Office has kindly supplied the breakdown of how the MPs voted. A summary by party is:
- National 58-0 in favour
- Labour 17-25 (C Carter not vote)
- Greens 2-6 (Norman not vote)
- Maori 0-5
- ACT 5-0
- Dunne and Anderton did not vote
It was meant to be a conscience vote, but I wonder if National were whipped to vote yes? I’m very suspicious that not a single MP voted against. Maybe, like me, they all thought it deserves select committee hearings.
The bill was put forward by Labour MP George Hawkins, but most of his colleagues voted against it.
Somewhat surprisingly all of ACT voted for it, and all of Maori voted against it.