13 May 2011
Immigration New Zealand clamps down on brothels in advance of Rugby World Cup
In advance of the Rugby World Cup that New Zealand is hosting in September and October, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is increasing its border security and conducting regular brothel checks to clamp down on any foreign prostitutes coming to the country to work illegally.
Speaking on the additional measures that have been put in place to ensure that international sex workers are kept out of New Zealand as the country builds up to the Rugby World Cup, Steve Stuart, an Intelligence Manager at Immigration New Zealand said: "Extensive planning has taken place by all the border agencies to ensure that there are resources in place to allow the smooth movement of genuine travellers coming here for the Rugby World Cup.
"Major international sporting events are likely to increase demand for sex workers, and we are ready for that."
The news comes as Gordon Dong, an Auckland brothel-keeper, was this week convicted for attempting to smuggle a prostitute into the country.
He was found guilty of aiding and abetting the unlawful entry of a person into New Zealand, and sentenced to 300 hours of community work.
Speaking on the incident, which involved Dong lying to an immigration officer that the prostitute was travelling to New Zealand for a holiday, Mr Stuart commented: "This was an attempt at people smuggling which exploits the vulnerable for personal financial greed and we have zero tolerance towards such wilful abuse of the immigration system.
"It serves as a warning to those who may be tempted to take advantage of the Rugby World Cup that we will not tolerate this activity or any immigration abuse."
Around 85,000 fans are expected to start arriving in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup, and brothel owners are expecting a boom. However, while prostitution has been decriminalised in New Zealand, is illegal for anyone on a temporary New Zealand visa to work in the sex industry.
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with New Zealand immigration applications.