Prostitution bylaw tabled
During last Thursday’s South Waikato District Council meeting it was moved that the South Waikato Prostitution Location and Signage Bylaw 2012 be created.
The provision of a specific bylaw is a proactive measure in future proofing should there ever become an issue with sexual services activities in the district. It also provides some certainty as to the restrictions in place, including inappropriate signage.
South Waikato District Council’s environment group manager Sharon Robinson said a lot of what was in the draft bylaw had been tested by other councils. She said one of the points to clarify was whether the council wanted to have the list of where the properties were located within the district.
Councillor Mike Gubb said: ‘‘Just going back to that list of brothels, how did you say that was going to work?’’
Mrs Robinson took Cr Gubb back to the agenda item, saying that if any person wished to establish or operate a brothel they must notify the council in writing of their intentions prior to commencement. She said that allowed the council to check if they met the 100-metre criteria of a sensitive site.
Cr Gubb questioned who would have access to that information once the council had it.
Mrs Robinson said it would be used to check that operators were complying with the bylaw.
‘‘As long as that’s how it goes I’m happy with that. I’d hate for it to become . . . that people could come in, organisations and groups, and ask for that information,’’ Cr Gubb said.
Cr Gubb also asked who determined a brothel to be a brothel. ‘‘If a premises chooses to run as a brothel, it looks like a brothel but it’s not a brothel?’’
A moment of confusion stopped proceedings.
The bylaw will be advertised and consulted on before the council adopts the bylaw.