Auckland porn parade hard to stop - Banks

Last updated 11:53 31/07/2008
BEST POSSIBLE TASTE: A model covers up, partially, at the Boobs on Bikes parade in Auckland.

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Auckland mayor John Banks says he can’t prevent topless porn stars riding motorbikes down Queen St.

"In a perfect world we wouldn’t have Boobs on Bikes in Queen St, but we don’t live in a perfect world," he says.

"I’m very aware that in these post-Christian times, in this slack and ill-disciplined society, holding up a bylaw around what is decent and what is not will be very difficult."

Auckland city councillors will decide at an extraordinary meeting whether to deny official consent for the Boobs on Bikes parade.

But Mr Banks accepts it will probably go ahead regardless.

He says he personally doesn’t want to see Queen St turned into the "front row of a strip club".

"I have always been opposed to the objectification of women," he says.

Pornographer Steve Crow says only bad weather will stop the event being held on August 20.

Mr Crow says council permission isn’t needed to hold the parade, which promotes his Erotica Expo.

"As with any event, there are those who object or find it offensive, but the overwhelming majority of people are supportive," he says.

Mr Crow says he approached the council only for support on traffic managment and crowd control.

A bylaw change last week means councillors have responsibility for issuing permits for events that could be considered offensive.

Councillor Richard Northey failed in a bid to beef up the bylaw to outlaw events related to pornography, despite 150 submissions in favour of the move.

Officers notified Mr Crow of the bylaw change on Tuesday morning, asking for a submission to the council supporting the event by noon.

Family First NZ says the parade is offensive and illegal and should be stopped.

"Most New Zealanders know it is indecent and inappropriate to be topless in a public place," says national director Bob McCoskrie.

"For those who stand for decency, and who seek to protect families and children, a parade during lunchtime down a major street will cause widespread offence."

The extraordinary council meeting will be held before the city development committee meeting on August 14.

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- Auckland City Harbour News

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