South Auckland Street Prostitution & the ability of the left to exaggerate an issue out of all proportion

Idiot/Savant has outdone himself with this one. As I’ll show, he’s claiming that stopping attempted child sex abuse is  is going back to the dark ages.

It’s almost as though he wrote his usual “I’ll spin this out of all proportion” thing, then took what he wrote and spun it another level up.

While the bill originally applied only to Manukau, the creation of the Auckland supercity means its scope has been expanded to cover the whole of Auckland – effectively exempting our largest city (and a quarter of the population) from the scope of the Prostitution Reform Act. If passed, it means that that area will go back to the dark ages, with prostitution being illegal in “specified areas” …, and prostitutes subject to police harassment and arrest which will effectively place them outside the protection of the law. It will also mean the creation of a de-facto federal state, with separate laws in Auckland from the rest of the country.

The Stuff article has a list of the guilty parties: … These councillors hate women, they hate civil liberties, and they hate the idea that the state has no business in people’s sex lives. Remember that at the next local government election.

Let’s take a slightly more rational look at this issue. A good start would be defining the issue.

The issue is nothing less that the choice of certain groups of south Auckland street-walking prostitutes to act in ways that are grossly anti-social. (I should note that the patrol has had it’s own dose of criticism, and deserved it.)

The 15 members of the Papatoetoe Community Patrol say the condoms and human waste left behind by prostitutes and punters at Hunters Corner were bad enough.

But schoolchildren being propositioned by men looking for sex was the final straw.

They’ve banded together and now they’re out at night trying to clean up the streets.

Hunters Corner business association chairman John McCracken says waste left after the night-time activities has led some businesses to shut up shop in Papatoetoe and relocate elsewhere.

“We’re having condoms left in our carparks, in our doorways, human waste left against our walls,” Mr McCracken says.

Schoolchildren from Papatoetoe Central Primary, Papatoetoe High School and Papatoetoe Intermediate walk past the area on the way to school.

“The prostitutes’ clients are also approaching the children when they are walking to school – that’s where we draw the line.”

And the problems also spill into residential areas, he says.

“They’re out in the middle of the street, stopping vehicles, yelling, bashing cars.”

Papatoetoe Community Board chairman Stephen Grey says the community patrol talks to the prostitutes’ clients and advises them of the risks of street soliciting. They don’t approach the sex workers because prostitution is legal.

Now, you might say “ah, that’s simply a newspaper ramping up a controversy”. Well, it’s not. I have had it literally thrust in front of my eyes, and I have heard many more stories from people who visit the areas concerned.

Now, Idiot claims that the bill makes prostitution illegal throughout Auckland. I wish.

No, it merely makes street prostitution illegal, and then only in places where the council deems it to to be a problem.

This issue has not been pushed by councillors, it’s been pushed by the people. People who have had to get up in the morning and scrape waste off their front steps, people who have been propositioned in the streets, people who have been harassed for simply being.

It is not about “civil liberties”. It is in fact about the uncivil liberties taken by these street walkers. No one in this country has the right to defecate on someone’s doorstep, no one has the right to leave their bodily fluids in letter boxes and gutters, no one has the right to take themselves and make another’s community a throughly unpleasant place to live.

Neither is it about “hating women”. The leap from “badly behaved street prostitute” to “all women” is in fact such a large one that Idiot is in serious danger here of equating “women” with street walkers. Such stretches actually begin to make him sound misogynistic, since it hardly takes a vivid imagination to think that most women would be seriously offended by that suggestion.

Neither is it about the state having “no business” in people’s sex lives. Having someone jump out at you and demand for you to pay them for sex* is exactly the sort of thing that is the state’s business. I’m sure that Idiot has had a lot to say about the Catholic Church’s sex scandals, so why is he so unconcerned about them when the perpetrator is a South Auckland street prostitute**?

South Auckland community worker and transgender advocate Mama Tere, who works with the sex workers to help them get off the streets, agrees their behaviour is an issue.

“The girls are being boisterous and violent to each other, clients and the public. They are high on drugs and carry on working while kids are walking to school. I don’t want schoolchildren to see that behaviour.”

Patrolling could get nasty, despite volunteers having good intentions, she says.

“I don’t want to see anyone else get hurt. I’m in support of change but I believe it is an issue that needs to be addressed by central government.”

She too wants to see street prostitution made illegal.

Wow, so does Mama Tere hate women, civil liberties, and wants the government to interfere in people’s sex lives?

Somehow I doubt it.

Yet, Idiot claims that this bill will send Auckland “back to the dark ages”.

I guess that’s par for the course for a man who wants children removed from the families for the crime of demaing a right that is by definition reasonable.


*This actually happened to a friend of a friend. He was sitting in his car and a street walking forced her way into the passenger seat and badgered him to try and take her services. There are several submissions to the committee from people who have had similar experiences including violent attacks for no apparent reason, thefts, etc. This submission outlines just how common incidents like the above are.

In daylight hours we have observed elderly men waiting in cars for their wives who are either shopping or visiting the Doctors surgery, being accosted by prostitutes who open their car doors and offer their services. Any man who sits in his carfor more than one ortwo minutes is usually approached by a prostitute offering their services. On occasion threats have been made to the men if they refuse the prostitutes though this doesn’t happen often.

**Incredibly, the Children’s Commissioner decided that he’s focus on attacking a straw man in his submission, and completely ignored the damage outlined above. In fact, many of the submissions take a similar line and ignore what the bill is actually about, including some supporting. Incredibly, many of the submissions paint street prostitutes as victims who will be hurt by the bill, rather than the people who effectively wrote it through their behaviour. It’s more than a little rich to behave so badly, then turn around and claim the victim card.


    1. Quite, the same thing occurred to me.

      The issue here really has very little to do with prostitution in a way. It just happens that the bad behaviour is from people who believe that the prostitution reform act makes whatever they want to do legal.

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