Immigration New Zealand (INZ) kicked 38 foreign sex workers out of the country, and above 350 suspected to be sex workers were denied entry in the last three years.
According to Peter Devoy, compliance assistant general manager of INZ, 353 known or suspected foreign sex workers were denied entry into the country while another 28 were denied boarding or taken off aircraft before takeoff between July 2015 and October 2018.
38 people who had temporary visas were given deportation liability notices for engaging in sex work in New Zealand. Among the 38 were two Chinese nationals working in an illegal brothel in suburban Queenstown with visitor visas. Devoy revealed that INZ knew about the brothel by an anonymous tip-off. INZ was told it is not a registered brothel by the district council after which the agency moved to the property in October last year and found the above Chinese nationals in the sex industry.
Prostitution Reform Act
Migrants who have not obtained New Zealand’s permanent residence are not allowed to work in the sex industry according to the Prostitution Reform Act 2003.
Devoy explained that the purpose of the rule is to discourage vulnerable people from entering New Zealand with the aim of engaging in commercial sexual services. This remains so except changed by any government, he said.
In response to questions asked, Queenstown Lakes District Council said it would respond via the Official Information Act process.
Since prostitution was removed from the list of crimes in 2003, Queenstown and Wanaka have been kept free of brothels by the council via restrictive bylaws. This has led to criticism from some quarters of the sex industry who complain about the tough restrictions concerning where they can legally operate in the two main towns.
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