Work in a “brothel”
According to New Zealand’s sex work legislation, any sex work business is referred to as a “brothel.” A brothel operator must have a special license and must do things like make sure the sex workers are over the age of 18 and utilize safer sex practices.
The majority of sex workers in brothels have signed contracts stating that they are “independent contractors” rather than employees. In the section below, “Your rights when conducting sex work,” you can learn more about the rights you have under each of these working arrangements.
Working with other sex workers at a SOOB (“small, owner-operated brothel”).
2003 Prostitution Reform Act
The law refers to a “small, owner-operated brothel,” or “SOOB,” when up to four sex workers work together without a boss.
No one is in charge of another sex worker in a SOOB, and everyone is responsible for their own earnings. People who work in SOOBs do not require an operator’s license.
Working as a freelance sex worker
Any sex worker can work for oneself, at home, or from another location. You don’t need a permit to do this.
Is it possible for me to do sex job from home?
Sections 12–15 of the Prostitution Reform Act of 2003
It depends on the town you reside in and the type of house you have.
Councils have the authority to impose restrictions on the location of sex work establishments. Some municipalities, for example, prohibit sex work in residential neighborhoods. They can also impose restrictions on publicly visible advertising.
Councils can also impose restrictions for anyone conducting a home-based business, so make sure you follow them. You can contact your local council to find out what the rules are in your area.
If you rent your house, your tenancy agreement may state that you are not permitted to undertake sex work from home.
If your residence is part of a “body corporate” (or “body corp”), such as an apartment complex or a group of units, there will almost certainly be a restriction in your contract that states you cannot undertake sex work from home.
Can I “solicit” or perform sex work on the street?
Sections 7–12–15 of the Prostitution Reform Act of 2003
Yes. It is lawful to “solicit,” or to offer sex work on the street.
The prostitution laws provide that councils have the authority to enact regulations regarding the site of brothels, but this does not imply that they have the authority to abolish sex work.
2009 Prostitution Bylaw (Hamilton City Council)
The Hamilton City Council has enacted a bylaw prohibiting solicitation. It is most likely an illegal bylaw since it recriminalizes prostitution, undercutting laws that have decriminalized sex work and prostitution. But we won’t know for certain until someone files a lawsuit against it.
Each council takes a different approach, so be sure you know the rules in your region.
If you meet your clients on the street, be aware that there are laws and ordinances against littering, noise, and making a nuisance, and you must be careful to observe those rules or you may be arrested and prosecuted.