New Zealand

In 2003, New Zealand decriminalised prostitution.

Below we review the impact of decriminalisation and recent experiences of sex sellers. 

We ask, is legal also ethical?  See who gets our Thumbs Down and Thumbs Up. 

Plus, check out recent News Updates on prostitution in New Zealand.


Impact of decriminalisation

In 2003 New Zealand decriminalized prostitution. A review of our posted articles (see Get Informed-News-Prostitution-NZ) shows that decriminalisation has had a significant impact, on:

Young women
• Is luring “desperate” young women into prostitution. article 
• Is luring overseas students studying in NZ legally, to engage in prostitution illegally. article
• Is luring foreign women to NZ illegally, to engage in prostitution. article; article

Children and youth
• Has led to a rise in child prostitution. article; article
• Has reduced the sexual exploitation and rape of children to a mere social, rather than criminal, issue. article; article
• Has not resulted in a law enforcement crackdown on child sexual exploiters, as promised. article; article; article

Health, safety, violence and gender inequality
• Has not prevented murders of women in prostitution. article; article
• Has not prevented other forms of violence against women in prostitution. see here
• Has not prevented women from being forced to "work" in slave-like conditions. article .....

For more (including impact on communities, councils, trafficking, sex tourism, etc click here 

Adverse experiences for sex sellers post decriminalisation

In New Zealand, in a 12-month period some four to five years following decriminalisation of prostitution in 2003, a government published Report (2008) found -

Of women engaged in street prostitution
39% had been threatened with physical violence
31% experienced refusal by client to pay
24% had money stolen by a client
13% had been physically assaulted by client
11% had received abusive text messages from clients
10% had been held somewhere against their will

Of women engaged in the managed indoor sector eg. brothel
10% had been physically assaulted by client

Of women engaged in the private indoor sector eg. SOOB (small owner-operated brothel), purportedly the "safest" sector
36% has received abusive text messages from clients
16% had been threatened with physical violence
12% had experienced refusal by client to pay .....

For full published Table, click here.


Legal vs. ethical

In New Zealand, prostitution, stripping and other parts of an industry that (for the most part) reduces young women to breasts and genitals for male use or titillation may be legal.  But legal can be a far cry from ethical.  Just as global market leader Apple Inc. and the late Steve Jobs took an ethical stand against the legal porn industry, increasingly businesses and organisations face the challenge of adopting ethical business practices and guidelines regarding the sex industry.

"You know, there's a porn store for Android. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That's a place we [Apple] don't want to go – so we're not going to go there." - the late Steve Jobs, CEO, Apple Inc. article

Stop Demand urges all corporates, businesses and organisations to follow the example of leaders like Apple Inc. when reviewing their policies and practices as regards the sex industry.  Below are examples of New Zealand business models that get our Thumbs Down and our Thumbs Up.

Corporate responses Corporate responses

Academy Publishing / Magazines Today
NZ publisher of regional business and other magazines.

Takes the advertising dollar from the sex industry.

Stop Demand has urged Academy Publishing to adopt ethical policies as regards the sex industry.

An Academy Publishing media consultant, in defending what he calls "tittie bars”, attacks Stop Demand and its supporters as “feminist harpies”, “a coven of joyless prunes”, “man hating”, a “cohort of misery seekers”, “a bunch of twisted retards” ... and suggests we “purchase some K-Y jelly to un-uptighten” ourselves.

It is no surprise that corporates who refuse to distance themselves from the sex industry have sexist and denigrating men in their ranks.

Magazines to boycott: Auckland Today; Central Today; Wellington Today; Canterbury Today; Principals Today; Retirement Today; Tearaway.


Big Boys Toys
Australasia's largest male lifestyle event.

Refuses sex industry exhibits.

Sex industry exhibitor, publisher and pornographer Steve Crow:

"Big Boys Toys would not let me exhibit at their show. I wanted to build this big black cube in the corner, with a doorman in a suit, in a tuxedo, and an R18 sign. They said, No, we don't want your kind of business."


A big thumbs up
to the decision-makers of Big Boys Toys!

It's not so difficult to say "We don't want your kind of business".


In the News

Teen prostitute raped at knifepoint Jun 12, 2012
A 16-year-old prostitute was picked up in Manurewa and raped at knifepoint over the weekend, police have said... more

Project cleans up street prostitution May 30, 2012
One of Auckland's most notorious spots for street prostitution is being cleaned up by a council project which has seen CCTV cameras... more

Immigration raids catch 21 illegal prostitutes Apr 26, 2012
Twenty-one prostitutes have been found working illegally in Auckland brothels raided by Immigration NZ officials since the Rugby World Cup... We ask: why is Immigration NZ so soft on offending brothels? more

Jones fights Chow brothers over brothel tower Apr 19, 2012
Property magnate Sir Robert Jones will oppose fellow Wellingtonians John and Michael Chow in the planning stoush over the brothers' bid to build a tower building, including a brothel, in central Auckland... more

For more Prostitution New Zealand news articles, click here



Global prostitution, stripping... It is NOT inevitable.

Prostitution, stripping and other commercial sex activities fuel and sustain gender inequality.

Recently, countries have been stepping up and saying NO to such activities.  And with growing support from men.

For more, check out our Global page on:

  • male demand and the global sex trade
  • regressive and progressive approaches to demand
  • countries that are taking positive steps to reduce demand, unlike New Zealand
  • who gets our Thumbs Down and Thumbs Up
  • frequently asked questions
  • resources and organisations around the world, tackling demand ... and more.
Read more



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