The Prostitution Reform Act

Gillian Abel, Catherine Healy, Calum Bennachie and Anna Reed

in Taking the crime out of sex work

Published by Policy Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9781847423344
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303664 | DOI:
The Prostitution Reform Act

Show Summary Details


This chapter provides an overview of how sex work was regulated and controlled in New Zealand before the passing of the Prostitute Reform Act (PRA) of 2003. Prior to 2003, the regulation of sex work in New Zealand was consistent with moral perspectives wherein sex workers were depicted as public nuisances and threats to family values. However, after the passing of the PRA, the government adopted a public health and human rights stance to the regulation of the industry. It also repealed all laws that effectively criminalised the activities in relation to sex work. This was in recognition of the harm caused by these policies. In doing so, New Zealand became one of the few countries to decriminalise sex work. In addition to discussing the history and the developments of the sex industry of New Zealand, the chapter also discusses the purpose of the PRA and how the specific claims were addressed in a section-by-section discussion of the Act. Such claims include: sex-worker health, operator certificates, under-age sex workers, advertising restrictions, territorial authorities, and protections for sex workers.

Keywords: sex work; PRA; public health; human rights; decriminalisation; operator certificates; under age; advertising restrictions; territorial authorities; protections

Chapter.  3768 words. 

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.