Sex workers enjoy post-quake boom

High demand: A central city prostitute at work in Christchurch on Tuesday night.
High demand: A central city prostitute at work in Christchurch on Tuesday night.

An influx of earthquake relief workers has made Christchurch's disaster a bonanza for the city's prostitutes.

Manchester St sex worker Candice, 24, said she has been run off her feet servicing search and rescue staff, builders, and even two New South Wales police officers.

"They took pictures with me to show the boys back home. They were in uniform but they took off their orange singlets because they said it ruined the picture."

Candice said she had made an average of $700 a night since returning two nights after the February 22 quake.

On her best night she had made $1400, charging $100 for sex or $120 for 30 minutes of "everything".

"In three years, I've never made this much before. The foreign ones are the best - they pay the most.

"They are saying they are stressed out and they need to get some stress relief."

Candice said with the usual Manchester St stomping ground inside the cordon, she had moved to the corner of Manchester St and Bealey Ave.

Other prostitutes had spread down the street towards Edgeware Rd, but they were hard to spot.

"They're all off doing jobs," Candice said.

Candice said men were cruising up and down the street and no sooner was a girl dropped off, than she was picked up by another client.

"There's just lots of men here; lots of men without their wives and they're going to be a bit naughty."

Another sex worker, Mary, who lost her house in the quake, said she had also been very busy.

She had been seeing "all sorts of people", not just her regular clients. "It's their way of dealing with it. If they can get some relief, I think there's nothing wrong with that."

With the inner-city brothels closed, many workers had been forced into the suburbs.

Jo Jo's on Worcester St in Linwood is now housing many workers from the Atami Bath House, Stacey's and Tiffany's.

Staff declined to speak, saying they were all still too shaken.

The Press