The History of the New Zealand Prostitute's Collective

1976-10-01 13:40:35

Auckland's sex industry in 1976: lively and thriving for some.

There are more than 50 parlours in Auckland, with business booming. You'll hear what it was like in these two feature audio items featuring 74 year old Auckland madam Flora Mac Kenzie and a variety of unnamed men and women working in the sex industry.

1983-06-01 18:10:55


Sex work goes pop. "If you don't like the beat, don't play with the drum". Taken from Sharon O'Neill's 1983 album Foreign Affairs, the song chronicles "case 1352, a red and green tattoo". It was inspired by a prostitute who worked the streets of King's Cross. The clip starts with O'Neill hitting Auckland Airport. Look out for leopard skin tights and a dress straight off Logan's Run. Other highlights: a steamy sax solo, heavy eye shadow and backlit silhouettes in "rain-slicked avenues." Two clips for 'Maxine' exist: the Australian version won controversy for images of a fictional prostitute, shot in King's Cross.

1985-08-21 13:45:25

Jewel's Darling: Television Drama

"...I mean to say, shouldn't I be in love with a fella or something?" Mandy (Richard Hanna), a man who dresses as a woman, describes his relationship with transsexual Jewel (future politician Georgina Beyer). Jewel's Darl concentrates on the fine details of their relationship: tea and biscuits in bed, Jewel's belief in staying strong against other people's mockery, and Mandy's memories of a troubled childhood. Nominated for multiple NZ Film and Television awards after finally getting a TV slot, Peter Wells' drama was inspired by an Anne Kennedy short story, which won the 1983 Katherine Mansfield Award.

1987-10-01 13:40:35

The NZPC formed

A group of women in massage parlours and other places were concerned about the treatment of sex workers and got together, often meeting on street corners, bars, and beaches during 1987. In October they formally formed the New Zealand Prostitutes' Collective

1989-01-01 00:00:00

Carmen Rupe

In more repressed times, Carmen was one of NZ's most colourful and controversial figures. Geoff Steven's doco traces the life story of the transgender icon who was born Trevor Rupe in Taumarunui in 1936 and went on to be a dancer, sex worker, madam, cafe owner — and one of the few non-MPs to appear before the Privileges Committee. Steven shines a light on a bygone era of gay culture but avoids the temptation to focus on the seedy — opting, instead, for extended fantasy sequences (featuring Neil Gudsell aka Mika) to illustrate key moments in Carmen's life.

1989-08-21 13:45:25

NZ sex work film: The Night Workers 1989

Director Dave Gibson heads to Wellington's red light district on Vivian Street to interview strippers and prostitutes for this TV One documentary. Night workers ply their trade on the busy street, and inside late night venues like Tiffany's strip club. The nearby Evergreen cafe is also used as a drop-in centre by the city's gay community. Prostitute Kayla talks about AIDS reducing client numbers, while stripper Crystal Lee is nervous before her first dance. Police mention an improved relationship with prostitutes; Tiffany's owner Brian Le Gros claims men visit his club for fun not story info here

1992-10-22 05:03:00

MP's back NZPC in attempt at law reform

NZ's Associate Health Minister calls for a departmental report on prostitution with the support of NZPC. Listen to NZPC's Catherine Healy here.

1993-05-01 00:00:00

Calls for decriminalisation

Associate Health Minister Maurice Williamson and NZPC's, Catherine Healy call for decriminalisation of sex work so that sex workers can carry condoms without fear of them being used as evidence if arrested.

1993-09-18 00:00:00

Dame Catherine receives the New Zealand Suffrage Centennial Medal 1993

Women's suffrage in New Zealand was achieved by the passage of the Electoral Act 1893 on 19 September 1893. To commemorate the centennial of that event the medal was created. The medal served to recognize New Zealanders and other Commonwealth citizens who had made a significant or recognisable contribution to the rights of women or to women's issues within New Zealand.

1994-07-07 13:40:35

A Double Standard

This documentary about the sex industry in New Zealand features frank but sympathetic interviews with sex workers (including the Prostitutes Collective) and their clients. Topics discussed include the sex workers' reasons for doing the job, physical and sexual safety, the impact of AIDS, the role of drink and drug abuse, and managing a relationship with a husband or boyfriend. The film screened on TV3 after arguments about censorship, which Costa Botes writes about here. A Double Standard makes a compelling case for the industry to be decriminalised. Law change occurred in 2003.

The History of the New Zealand Prostitute's Collective

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