'Sin precinct' draws opposition

CHARLES ANDERSON
Last updated 07:59 11/05/2012
sin precinct
ROSS GIBLIN
BIG PLANS: John Chow, left, and his brother Michael.

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A proposed 15-storey super brothel in central Auckland will lead to an explosion of sexually transmitted diseases, child sex slavery, moral bankruptcy, drug warfare and a curse on everyone in New Zealand, according to submissions to Auckland Council.

John and Michael Chow plan to build a development called the Penthouse Club, which would include a brothel and entertainment facilities on Victoria St, opposite SkyCity.

One submission said it would create a "sin precinct".

It would be built on the 552 square metre site of the former Palace Hotel, a Victorian-era heritage building which crumbled during refurbishments under the Chows' care in 2010.

Of the 200 submissions to the council on the plan, only one conditionally supported it.

The majority highlighted issues of morality, criminality and health, while a handful – including one from the Historic Places Trust – were concerned about the building's lack of heritage sensitivity.

A submission from Mary Pepping said the complex would increase sexually transmitted diseases "and have other undesirable effects on the community".

Another was more specific about these effects.

"How would you expect children, families and ladies to visit a place if a brothel is present? It would attract violence, drug wars and proliferate scrupulous (sic) business dealings."

"If you consent to this development you will consign some children to sex slavery," submitter Paul Francis wrote.

Magno Gull said that, as a Christian, it was one of his rights to protest against this kind of activity which "undermined morals and families".

Many submissions were identical, apparently based on a template from conservative lobby group Family First.

Joan Bernich was shocked that anyone would think of putting a brothel so close to a place of worship "and a tourist spot" like the Sky Tower.

Submissions closed last Friday and the council will now hold a resource consent hearing where council-appointed commissioners will consider the proposal.

The Chow brothers own a string of Wellington brothels including Ill Bordello and the Splash Club, as well as the Mermaid strip club.

– Fairfax NZ News

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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