Brothels in Queenstown get green light

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Brothels have been given the green light in downtown Queenstown – but a concentrated red light area is a no-go. 

Queenstown Lakes District Council today (Tuesday) adopted the Brothel Control Bylaw 2011 allowing houses of sin in the resort’s CBD. 

Brothels were effectively barred from the city centre in 2008 after a QLDC bylaw banned brothels within a 100 metres of residential homes, schools, pre-schools, churches, community facilities and reserves – ruling out virtually all the CBD. 

Queenstown’s sole brothel Candy’s – open at the time the bylaw was passed – closed in December 2008 and the town centre hasn’t had another since. 

But the previous bylaw could have been in contradiction of the Prostitution Reform Act 2003 and QLDC set up a working party in April last year to address the issue. 

The new bylaw states establishments can’t start just anywhere within the brothel boundaries – formed by Camp Street, Shotover St, Rees St and Earl St. 

They can’t be located within 100m of each other – vertically or horizontally – and must be housed in a building constructed under a building consent. 

QLDC regulatory and corporate services boss Roger Taylor says the 100m proviso prevents any “red light areas” opening up and restricts the number of brothels able to open downtown to about nine. 

The requirement that brothels must be located in buildings was adopted “to avoid the possibility for the smart approach that might be taken…someone parking a double decker bus on a vacant section”. 

Councillor Lex Perkins, who was on the working party to review the previous bylaw, says the new bylaw couldn’t be made “tighter” than it is. 

“I think we have protected the public quite a bit.”