Brothel shut down

Central Leader - - Front Page - By Janie Smith

RES­I­DENTS in a Green­lane street are pleased to see a res­i­den­tial brothel be­ing shut down, but there may be hun­dreds of sim­i­lar busi­nesses op­er­at­ing around Auck­land.

The Auck­land City Coun­cil has is­sued a no­tice of abate­ment to the Puriri Ave prop­erty af­ter com­plaints from res­i­dents that it was op­er­at­ing as a brothel.

The coun­cil re­ceived an ap­pli­ca­tion from the premises to op­er­ate a health li­cence for do­ing ther­a­peu­tic mas­sage, but it was re­jected af­ter in­ves­ti­ga­tions by a li­cens­ing of­fi­cer and an en­force­ment of­fi­cer.

“The own­ers of the op­er­a­tion have since de­cided to va­cate the premises,” says coun­cil en­vi­ron­men­tal health team man­ager Ca­role Simp­son.

There are 16 reg­is­tered broth­els in Auck­land city, but the coun­cil only li­censes large broth­els, not ones that fall un­der the def­i­ni­tion in the Pros­ti­tutes Re­form Act of a small owner-op­er­ated brothel.

Such broth­els must have no more than four sex work­ers at the premises and have to com­ply with the Re­source Man­age­ment Act and district plan to op­er­ate in a res­i­den­tial area.

“It is im­pos­si­ble to es­ti­mate how many are in op­er­a­tion across Auck­land, but we sus­pect it is in the hun­dreds,” says Ms Simp­son.

One Puriri Ave res­i­dent, who did not want to be named, says the premises has been op­er­at­ing since last Oc­to­ber but neigh­bours didn’t re­alise what was hap­pen­ing un­til De­cem­ber.

She and oth­ers liv­ing nearby no­ticed the cur­tains were al­ways drawn and taxis were arriving at all hours of the day and night.

“Every­one was up in arms,” she says.

The woman says an el­derly neigh­bour was the first to no­tice the ac­tiv­ity and was “spooked” by the clien­tele.

She com­plained to the coun­cil twice about the op­er­a­tion be­ing run at the ad­dress.

“The district plan says what ac­tiv­i­ties you can have. A brothel is a com­mer­cial ac­tiv­ity and this is a res­i­den­tial street.”

She says the coun­cil has been sup­port­ive and every­one is happy to see the brothel go.

A spokesman for the busi­ness says it will be va­cat­ing the house but he is an­gry about the sit­u­a­tion.

He says the coun­cil vis­ited the prop­erty more than 10 times and he was told he could op­er­ate his busi­ness if he had the mas­sage li­cence, which he ap­plied for and was turned down.

“There are only three ladies liv­ing here. What can I do? I’m re­ally an­gry. I’ve spent a lot of money rent­ing here.”

He says re­ports of lots of taxis at the house are un­true be­cause there are 11 carparks on site for cus­tomers.

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