Mixed re­ac­tion to strip club plans

Taranaki Daily News - - News - Christina Per­sico

A busi­ness­man fac­ing the prospect of a strip club, and pos­si­bly a brothel, open­ing next door says adult en­ter­tain­ment has no place on New Ply­mouth’s main street.

Gene Mar­tin, co-owner of Broth­ers Ink tat­too par­lour, said they could ‘‘by all means’’ have the busi­ness some­where else, but the for­mer Bub­ble Waf­fle site on Devon St East, near the Liardet St in­ter­sec­tion, was not the right lo­ca­tion.

Se­cu­rity firm boss Denys Tay­lor has bought the town’s de­funct strip club, Crave, and is plan­ning to re­open it at 53 Devon St East un­der the name Xcite. It would fea­ture a strip club in the base­ment and he in­tends on turn­ing the up­per floors into a mem­bers’ area and a brothel in the fu­ture.

Tay­lor said the busi­ness would be dis­crete and the cen­tral lo­ca­tion would be bet­ter for safety.

But Mar­tin said it was the wrong site. ‘‘It’s on the main street. I have two daugh­ters and they come in to visit me all the time and I don’t want them to think that’s an OK style of life.’’

He added: ‘‘I’ve been tat­too­ing for 28 years and when I started, tat­too­ing was as­so­ci­ated with gang mem­bers and broth­els.

‘‘I’ve spent the last 20 years try­ing to get away from that.’’

Testos­terone and al­co­hol was a bad mix, he said.

But Tay­lor said it was his un­der­stand­ing that the coun­cil had dif­fer­ent area zones, and it was a case of ‘each to their own’.

‘‘Things like that be­ing cen­tral, where there’s lots of peo­ple around, isn’t such a bad thing for peo­ple’s safety.’’

The premises would be dis­crete, he said.

‘‘There’s noth­ing re­ally peo­ple can see from the out­side.’’

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Taranaki Cham­ber of Com­merce, Arun Chaud­hari, said he had not had any feed­back from busi­nesses, but in his per­sonal opin­ion ‘‘we need to make sure that we pro­tect the young peo­ple’’.

‘‘It’s re­ally in the hands of the coun­cil, what they think is ap­pro­pri­ate,’’ he said.

Ka­t­rina Brun­ton, NPDC cus­tomer and reg­u­la­tory so­lu­tions man­ager, said the ap­pli­ca­tion met all the re­quire­ments un­der the Broth­els (lo­ca­tion and sig­nage) and Com­mer­cial Sex Premises (sig­nage) By­law 2010 to op­er­ate in the city cen­tre.

‘‘The pro­posed brothel has also ap­plied for an al­co­hol li­cence, and that ap­pli­ca­tion must be pub­licly no­ti­fied. The al­co­hol li­cence ap­pli­ca­tion was pub­licly no­ti­fied, as re­quired, on NPDC’s web­site and by a no­tice on the premise’s front door. No pub­lic ob­jec­tions have been re­ceived.’’

There is cur­rently one brothel in New Ply­mouth, Hearts and Ar­mour, on Brougham St.

Peo­ple in the CBD on Thurs­day morn­ing had mixed views about the pos­si­bil­ity of an­other, and the im­me­di­ate plans for a strip club.

New Ply­mouth res­i­dent Dou­glas Hen­der­son said he was against that kind of busi­ness be­ing ‘‘any­where, ever’’.

‘‘It lim­its the girls, you might say. It’s very anti-so­cial.

‘‘Hearts and Ar­mour across from the li­brary is bad enough.’’

New Ply­mouth mum Shaylee Chap­man said it didn’t bother her. ‘‘It gives women jobs. As long as it’s over-18s work­ing in there.

‘‘For some women it’s the only way they can get jobs.’’

Mi­randa Marsh said peo­ple had to make money some­how.

‘‘You see these things around town but it doesn’t bother me.’’

MAIN PHOTO: CHRISTINA PER­SICO/STUFF

Gene Mar­tin, co-owner of Broth­ers Ink, is not happy that a strip club, and pos­si­bly a brothel, could be mov­ing in next door at the old Bub­ble Waf­fle site (above).

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