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Napier City Council is moving toward restricting prostitution to the central city and industrial areas, shutting down the possibility of brothels opening in suburban shopping centres.
That prospect was highlighted last month when the council met people who objected to Fleurs escort agency operating in Cathedral Lane, an area they considered inappropriate for a brothel. Fleurs' neighbours include Napier Cathedral, a language academy and a backpackers. With the city council deeming prostitution a commercial activity, brothels can set up as of right in downtown Napier, industrial areas and in suburban shopping centres.
Currently, all six brothels known to the council, including Fleurs, are operating in downtown Napier. Council policy planner David Bishop said there was nothing at present to stop a brothel opening in the Taradale, Onekawa, Marewa or Ahuriri shopping centres. However, such businesses usually sought a liquor licence, which required a notified application, Mr Bishop said.
At a recent council seminar, councillors and staff felt the preferred option was to permit brothels in the CBD and industrial areas but to restrict them in other areas by making zoning changes to the District Plan. Tomorrow, the environmental management committee will debate a recommendation to reassess areas where brothels currently operate and where they should be restricted. Mr Bishop said the public would be consulted if councillors agreed changes were needed. The council could also consider requiring a resource consent for signage advertising brothels, ruling out huge neon signs with offensive language.
Hawke's Bay Today understands complaints were made about Fleurs' neon signage, which has now been removed. Hawke's Bay Today. Subscribe to Premium. Sign In Register. On the go and no time to finish that story right now?