Pole-Dancing Prostitutes Are Destroying New Zealand Traffic Signs

Auckland residents are fed up with sex workers damaging public property.

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A Kiwi sign by a road in New Zealand

Sex workers performing stunts under street signs have damaged more than 40 poles in the past 18 months, a city councilwoman in Auckland, New Zealand has claimed.

Donna Lee, a member of the city council’s Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board, told Stuff New Zealand that the women inadvertently bend and dent public signage in their effort to lure clients. “Prostitutes use these (street sign poles) as dancing poles,” she said. “The poles are part of their soliciting equipment and they often snap them. Some of the prostitutes are big, strong people.”

(MORE: From Bangkok to Berlin, Hard Times Hit the Sex Trade)

The revelation comes after the city council published a consumer pamphlet describing how prostitution impacts the lives of local residents and businesses. One store owner recounts how up to 20-30 prostitutes line the street outside of his shop on some nights, and claims they sometimes shoplift, beg customers for money, and relieve themselves on his property. An accountant also describes how a transvestite recently rammed a shopping cart into a woman’s car, and then climbed on top of the hood.

The book is part of a broader push from campaigners, who want Parliament to give Auckland Council the power to ban prostitution from the city’s most popular streets and business areas. Prostitution was decriminalized in 2003 by the previous Labour government, paving the way for some of the world’s most liberal sex trade laws.

The damaged street signs may be irrelevant. One man, who lives in an area of town called Hunter’s Corners, says everybody knows the area, thanks to the local sex trade. “We had a parcel delivered to us recently and the address was ‘Hooker’s Corner,'” he said, “and it found its way to us with no problems whatsoever.”

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