Goff names Prostitution Law Review Committtee

  • Phil Goff

Justice Minister Phil Goff today named the 11-person Prostitution Law Review Committee.

"As Minister of Justice I have appointed two of the representatives on the committee. They are Susan Martin and Sister Catherine Hannan. Both were nominated by Peter Dunne, leader of United Future," Mr Goff said.

"I have also appointed as the chair, former Assistant Commissioner of Police Paul Fitzharris, who is the nominee of the Minister of Police.

"Ms Martin is a former social worker, who has practised as a barrister since 1996. She is currently national co-ordinator of End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking (ECPAT). Sister Hannan headed the Sisters of Compassion Order from 1985 to 1999. She was prison chaplain at Arohata from 1975 to 1984, and has a Diploma in Counselling and an honours degree in Social Studies.

"The role of the committee will be to assess the current state of the prostitution industry, including an estimation of its size.

"The committee will then re-assess in three to five years' time whether the industry has increased in size, and whether any problems have arisen, or have not been properly dealt with by the new law, that might need to be addressed through legislative amendments."

The committee also includes three representatives of the Prostitutes Collective, two industry representatives, and nominees made by the Ministers of Women's Affairs, Health and Local Government.

"Prostitution has long been a fact of life in New Zealand, as elsewhere. The new legislation is intended to prevent or eliminate undesirable side effects such as the exploitation of children or the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

"It is also designed to address a long-standing problem, which is that the prostitution industry has been infiltrated by criminal organisations," Mr Goff said.

The full committee is: Paul Fitzharris (chair), Mary Brennan, Dr Susan Crengle, Dr Jan Jordon, Sister Catherine Hannan, Catherine Healy, Susan Martin, Susan Piper, Karen Ritchie, Matthew Soeberg, Lisa Waimare.