Sex workers have spent decades working with the government. This has proved life-saving during the Covid crisis. On 23 March, her university announced courses would move online. In addition to the emergency wage subsidy, which is available to all New Zealand workers just by providing a national ID number and basic personal information, sex workers are also immediately eligible for job-seekers benefits, a weekly payout that for other workers typically requires a waiting period the exemption, part of the legislation that decriminalised prostitution, was intended to ensure sex workers could leave the industry at any time and would not be forced into sex work for financial reasons. Dame Catherine Healy, a campaigner, former sex worker, and founding member of the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective NZPC , says she has seen applications for both the emergency wage subsidy and job-seekers benefits processed within days, thanks to assistance from government outreach workers who, until the coronavirus crisis struck, regularly made in-person visits to a sex worker community centre in Auckland. By contrast, in neighbouring Australia, a statement from an alliance of sex workers groups condemned police for fining sex workers who continued to work in New South Wales.
'Don't have to fight for pennies': New Zealand safety net helps sex workers in lockdown
Prostitution Law Reform in New Zealand - New Zealand Parliament
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Prostitution law reform in New Zealand
Prostitution in New Zealand , brothel-keeping, living off the proceeds of someone else's prostitution, and street solicitation are legal in New Zealand and have been since the Prostitution Reform Act came into effect. Coercion of sex workers is illegal. Until , indoor prostitution in New Zealand was governed by the Massage Parlours Act , which allowed brothels to operate in the guise of massage parlours. However, the act defined massage parlours as public places, so laws against soliciting in a public place applied to workers in parlours, and they were sometimes raided by police posing as clients. Advertising the sale of sex "soliciting" , running a brothel, and living off the earnings of prostitution were illegal.
The other 48 MPs are selected from the party lists. However, the Justice and Electoral Committee said that prior to the PRA a range of offences could be committed in association with acts of prostitution, and that for most forms of prostitution it was likely a law would be broken at some stage. A sex industry has operated in New Zealand since the early days of European colonisation. Enforcement of legislation against prostitutes was sometimes rigorous, especially after the mids. If a woman was found to be affected with a contagious disease she was liable to be detained in a female reformatory.