Story: Sex work

'What should we do about the prostitutes' bill, sir?'

'What should we do about the prostitutes' bill, sir?'

This Tom Scott cartoon appeared in the Dominion Post on 28 March 2003, a few months before the final debates in Parliament on the Prostitution Reform Bill. Division among politicians over the bill was represented in their votes on 25 June 2003. The legislation, the first in the world to fully decriminalise prostitution, was passed by 60 votes to 59, with one abstention. Tom Scott's cartoon suggests that politicians, like other occupational groups, use the services of sex workers.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library
Reference: H-734-144
Cartoon by Tom Scott

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Jan Jordan, 'Sex work - Legislation and decriminalisation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 4 October 2023)

Story by Jan Jordan, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 31 May 2018