Brothels: Sex in the suburbs

first_imgNZ Herald 4 Feb 2012Brown St is just the latest suburban flashpoint in the nine years since the Prostitution Reform Act was passed, decriminalising the sex trade in a bid to make it safer for participants. From main centres – notably Auckland, Tauranga, Wellington and Christchurch – to small town Dannevirke, the legalisation of prostitution has felt the lash of moral panic. It may be legal but most people want it to remain out of sight – particularly in areas where they live. In Auckland, neighbours have revolted against brothels in their backyards in Greenlane, Mt Eden, Birkenhead, Mt Albert, Remuera, Henderson and elsewhere. Street workers in downtown Auckland, Papatoetoe and Christchurch have angered residents and businesses, who tell lurid tales of indiscreet activity and associations with drugs, alcohol, urination, and worse. Landlords and property managers in upmarket apartment blocks have reported problems evicting tenants operating home sex businesses. Each public furore brings calls to revisit (or tear up) the Prostitution Reform Act or to ban the industry from residential areas. But is the legislation to blame or is it the way councils (and other agencies) have dealt with it? The act made it clear that councils could use bylaws and land zoning controls to guide the location of brothels, limit offence to the general public and preserve “existing character”. But for busy councils with limited income sources, the additional monitoring and enforcement responsibilities were not exactly welcomed. Nor were they simple to apply…Another obstacle confronting opponents is the dim view the courts have taken of some council efforts to restrict the location of brothels. In 2004 the old Auckland City Council introduced a bylaw effectively banning brothels from residential areas and within 250m of schools, churches and community centres. But a High Court challenge from an Epsom brothel saw the bylaw thrown out on grounds it was too restrictive and undermined the intentions of the Prostitution Reform Act. A similar bylaw in Christchurch was also overturned. The 2008 Parliamentary review also cautioned against using zoning to confine Soobs to areas such as industrial land because of the increased risk of assault and robbery facing small operators. Yet a Hamilton City Council bylaw restricting the sex industry to the CBD and an industrial belt has survived since 2004…the Auckland Council is finally developing a sex industry policy to replace Auckland City’s failed bylaw and create a level playing field across the region. The draft policy supports a combination of planning and bylaw controls and “non-regulatory” approaches. Though it acknowledges most local boards want brothels out of residential areas, it stresses that regulations need to be enforceable. “There is a sense that the industry can move underground relatively easily and any regulation needs to be legitimate and have the ability to be enforced.” The council has also “picked up” a local bill drafted by the Manukau City Council which, if passed by Parliament, will give it more power to restrict the location of street workers. The Christchurch City Council is looking at supporting the bill, which could then go national. read more

Paul Bunyan’s Axe calls Wisconsin home for another year

first_imgWide receiver Nick Toon leaps over the goal line for one of his two touchdowns Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. Toon led the way for UW’s wideouts with eight catches for 100 yards.[/media-credit]MINNEAPOLIS – Paul Bunyan’s Axe returned to the state of Minnesota this weekend, but only for a few hours to sight-see.In the 121st edition of the Wisconsin-Minnesota rivalry – the nation’s oldest – the No. 18 Badgers (8-2, 4-2) retained the game’s trophy for the eighth consecutive year, beating the Gophers (2-8, 1-5) 42-13.“It was finally nice, I’m a senior so I could finally carry it,” redshirt senior defensive lineman Patrick Butrym said. “It was nice to carry it around and nice to be 5-0 and never lose to those guys.”With the Axe in hand, running back Montee Ball and quarterback Russell Wilson each chopped down records at TCF Bank Stadium Saturday.Ball ran for 166 yards on 23 carries for two touchdowns and added one catch for five yards – which also resulted in a score. The junior running back’s three-touchdown day upped his season tally to 27, a new Big Ten single-season record.Wilson, meanwhile, had a near-spotless game in completing 16 of 17 passes for 178 yards and four touchdowns. Wilson didn’t throw a single incomplete pass until wide receiver Nick Toon couldn’t bring down a deep pass with less than three minutes remaining in the game.Wilson’s first touchdown pass of the game also gave him the school’s single-season record for passing touchdowns. He now has 25 on the year.The win bumps Wisconsin to second place in the Big Ten Leaders Division standings thanks to Saturday losses from Penn State and Ohio State. With that scenario, the Badgers control their Big Ten Championship Game destiny now that they have sole possession of second place and that the first place Nittany Lions are set to visit Camp Randall Stadium Nov. 26.Head coach Bret Bielema said he believed that despite two heartbreaking October losses to Michigan State and Ohio State, Wisconsin would be able to rebound.“One of the things that we talked about was a little scripture that we said, ‘Those who have been humbled will be exalted and those who have been exalted will be humbled,’” Bielema said. “We had two weeks back-to-back that were as gut-wrenching as anybody could imagine and… whatever happens, you have to embrace it and it has to make you stronger.”After Minnesota’s Duane Bennett ran back a 96-yard kickoff for a touchdown to open the second half, making the score 28-13, Wisconsin finally kept the Gophers at bay on the following drive.The Badgers drove 57 yards on 11 plays, capping it off with a three-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to tight end Jacob Pedersen. Wilson feigned the play-action, turned as he rolled to the right and hit the wide-open redshirt sophomore for his eighth touchdown reception of the season.With 9:07 remaining in the fourth quarter and UW up 35-13, the Badgers put the finishing touches on their arch rival when Ball plunged into the endzone to provide the game’s final margin and the Big Ten record.“When he got that touchdown, that last touchdown, I saw him squeeze onto that ball,” Wilson said. “I was like ‘Uh-oh, he got it.’ It’s definitely an emotional time for him, pretty exciting, he’s a great running back, does a lot of great things and he deserves it.”Wisconsin began the day with a slow but steady 14-play drive that covered 81 yards in 8:08. The Badgers converted on three third-down situations, including the drive’s last play, when Wilson turned to his left and found a wide-open Ball in the flats, who then ran it in from five yards out.The Badgers scored three touchdowns on their first three drives. Other scores came from Ball on a 14-yard run, in which he juked passed a Minnesota safety to reach the goal line, and a nine-yard pass from Wilson to Toon on the second quarter’s first play.Toon led all players with eight catches, 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns.“Nick’s been coming back slowly since those couple weeks when he was a little off and finally feeling healthy, and I know him and Russell have a special connection,” Bielema said.After accumulating minus-1 yards of total offense in the first quarter, Minnesota regained some momentum once Wisconsin went up 21-0. The Gophers drove 55 yards in 12 plays before being stopped on third down at the Badger five-yard line.Minnesota lined up for a field goal but pulled a fast one on the Wisconsin defense as holder Adam Lueck pitched the ball to kicker Jordan Wettstein.Wettstein avoided two tackles on his way toward the pylon, which reduced Wisconsin’s hold on the game to 21-6, after the following PAT-attempt went wide.“We’ve been practicing it for probably three weeks,” Wettstein said. “And Collin McGarry made a huge block, I just need to get it to the outside and I made it to the goal line.”But the Badgers responded soon afterward. Minnesota reclaimed possession with 2:11 in the first half and moved the ball to about midfield when Fenelus, who missed a tackle on the fake field goal, intercepted a pass from MarQueis Gray on the UW 22-yard line.The offensive then built that momentum-swing into a 17-yard touchdown pass to Toon, which gave UW a 28-6 lead at the break.And now in control of its path to the Big Ten Championship Game, Wisconsin no longer has to worry about the jockeying for position as the rest of the conference will be doing the rest of this season. Now, the Badgers can go back to concentrating on themselves.“We’re going to enjoy this victory tonight but come tomorrow, it’s going to be all about Illinois,” safety Aaron Henry said. “I just know that if we win out, we’ll pretty much take care of business. It’s on us.”last_img read more