Sodom and Gomorrah?

Alan TristramSex and Citizen Guru

Editorial opinion by Alan Tristram

Newly re-elected Kapiti Councillor K Gurunathan (Guru) has already got his knickers in a twist, as they say, over possible prostitution in  Kapiti’s hallowed urban areas.

Cr Gurunathan, who’s an evangelical Christian — which may or may not be related to his moral stance — is upset over the prospect the new District Plan might allow smallish brothels in residential homes.

The Kapiti Independent has always taken a fairly relaxed position over the question of sex, which seems to be a fairly universal human activity.

And prostitution? Well, nobody’s succeeded in eliminating it yet.

Personally we feel sex should be freely available to all consenting adults, as long as no-one is exploited in the process.

But Cr Gurunathan is worried that prostitutes might operate near churches, God Forbid!

Well, one could suggest these Christian folk take a leaf out of Jesus’s book and welcome them in? They might widen their outlook beyond the pews.

But others, among them Councillor Gurunathan,  family man and father of three, have different views.

So here’s his take on the subject..

Brothels masquerading as ‘Home Occupation’ permitted under Council plan

By Paraparaumu Ward Cr K Gurunathan 

Kapiti residents would be concerned to know that brothels masquerading as ‘home occupation’ would be a permitted activity in residential zones under the KCDC’s Proposed District Plan.  If this goes unchallenged these brothels would even be allowed to advertise their services using neon-lighted signs.

Brothels near schools or churches

My understanding is that as a permitted activity these brothels could be set up in residential zones near schools or churches. I am grateful to former Chief Environment Court Judge, Joan Allin, for alerting me to this serious anomaly in the PDP.

This is only one of a series of other serious shortcomings in the PDP contained in a 121-page document sent to councillors in early October. Identifying the PDP as the worst Plan she had ever come across, the retired Judge said the seriously flawed PDP has to be completely withdrawn as it could not be fixed through a hearing process.

I’m sure most Kapiti residents will share Ms Allin’s view that, while we have nothing against prostitutes or the people who use them, we are firmly in the NIMBY camp.

Prostitution and massage a no-go for Guru

Prostitution and related massage activities are a commercial activity and should be treated as such and not as a permitted activity or a controlled activity in residential zones.

Kapiti residents will not accept the PDP’s position that prostitution activities have similar effects as occupations offering non-prostitution related massage.

Beauty therapy and hair dressing are home occupations that are largely daytime activities and, as Ms Allin pointed out, there is no particular psychological aversion to them from people.

‘Strong religious communities’

She is also correct in saying that the PDP fails to consider the social, economic and cultural effects of such brothels on other residents. To that, I add, that Kapiti also has very strong religious communities who will find the PDP’s proposal to allow brothels to be defined as home occupations and allowed as permitted activity in residential zones to be objectionable.

Such brothels, especially those openly advertising their wares, would also cause neighbouring property values to drop. Ms Allin said potential purchasers would not treat a sign next door saying ‘Creative Crafts’ the same was as a sign saying ‘Perky Prostitutes’ or  ‘Prostitutes – 24 hours’.

What is also of serious concern is the Council letter of 29 November 2012 giving notice that the PDP was open for submissions. That letter claimed that for most residential areas the PDP was generally “business as usual” with only minor changes.

Ms Allin, the retired Judge, has pointed out that this claim is ‘materially misleading to potential submitters.’ She said there is High Court authority to challenge that claim.

What is also of serious concern is the Council letter of 29 November 2012 giving notice that the PDP was open for submissions. That letter claimed that for most residential areas the PDP was generally “business as usual” with only minor changes.

This is really getting interesting. To the good editor I never said you should not run with the prostitution/brothel story. I said I was prepared for it and accepted the ribbing that went with it. I said you had failed to ALSO focus on the real story which relate to the serious issues raised by the former Environment Court Judge. When can your readers expect that critique? It’s one thing to be a messenger and another to try and twist the message.

And as regards your so called liberal attitude to prostitution I always find it an interesting test of the western liberal’s consistency by asking them if they think it is a good idea for prostitutes to avail themselves as career consultants to go to primary schools and colleges to promote prostitution as a career prospect. Would that be too liberal or too relaxed a position for the good editor?

As for Mr Atack. I think the last discussion we had on this matter of climate change and the end of the world I had pointed out that Mr Atack owns a petrol-consuming carbon-emitting transport machine and that the millions of middle class Chinese and Indians are also claiming an equal right to that collective stupidity. Stupid is as stupid does and so everybody is digging a global grave for the global. So good luck on saving this world.

As much as I think prostitution is a fine example of what disgusting creatures humans are.
I’m surprised Guru is against this clear sign of growth and employment in Kapiti?
At least prostitution doesn’t destroy future generations ability to live on this planet … unlike say the motorway he is supporting, which through its building and use will cause far more damage to his children’s future than some grub abusing another human to gain a moment of pleasure??
Trying to work out which is the worst sin, a sad example of a man using a woman’s body for self gratification, or a so called community leader using emotion and bullshit to promote himself while ignoring the obvious elephant of CLIMATE CHANGE and the distraction this society/culture is leaving future generations? …. His bloody children ….. go figure.

Keep digging those graves Guru

Dear Sir,

Firstly, I totally accept that Christian Bashing amongst the western liberals is almost a religious past time. It goes with the territory. In passing, my religious philosophy is that I’m a Christian Anarchist. It might pay you to look it up. By the way, I was fully prepared for the ribbing that you have dished out as I had deliberately used the brothel story to leverage public attention to a more serious matter. However, KIN’s political nous has failed miserably in picking up on this up.

I explain – a mark of any media that intends to be taken seriously is the attention to the full story. Like the proverbial tabloids, you have focussed on the titilating and totally ignored what really underpins the brothel story – the alarm raised by a very prominent retired Environment Court Judge about the deplorable state of council’s Proposed District Plan.

Almost 95% of the observations I made in my statement are directly attributed to her and it comes from a small section of a 121-page submission she made to council’s PDP where she literally pleads for commonsense to prevail. She used the case of the home occupations/prostitutions to highlight some very serious anomalies in the PDP with the potential to cost ratepayers and those impacted some serious money. She’s not an ‘evangelical christian’, so why is she saying those things?

It was absolutely my intention to use this titilating brothel angle to hook the serious journalist and serious media to look at why a prominent and highly qualified Judge like Joan Allin would claim that the PDP is the worst Plan she had ever come across! I’m astonished that this has not set the news hound’s alarm bells ringing. Pull finger Mr Editor and do your job!

A dead give away about the shallowness of your stories is the fact that your story angle shares the very same platform as the KCDC’s spin in their response to my statement. They also conveniently concentrate on the brothel story and say little, if anything, on Joan Allin’s very serious criticism regarding the PDP process.

So the challenge for KIN, if its aim is to deliver serious journalism, is to publish a critique of Joan Allin’s 121-page submission and ask the KCDC the type of hard questions it should be asking. Her submission would astound you.

Talk about pot calling the kettle black!

If you didn’t want the Prostitution story carried, you shouldn’t have used it as a hook.

Please don’t keep trying to shoot the messenger because you might shoot yourself in the foot. But this is meant in the best possible way…Ed

Apart from your being on the wrong side of the Tararua ranges, it is lovely to read some sensible comment from an old Waicol colleague. I remain in exile in the UK myself. It is good to see so many friends still clinging to their perches.

He’s a fine one going on about property values when he supports the distressway which has already costing millions in lower property values.