Story: Sex work

Ship workers

Sex workers have often provided services to ship crews visiting New Zealand – although before the 1970s the arrangements between 'ship girls' and sailors were often informal, as former sex worker Dana de Milo explains in this 2010 video clip. Ship workers were also sometimes known as 'tima moles' – a term probably originating from the Māori word 'tima' (steamer) and the English word 'moll'. In the early 21st century ship workers were far less common, due to increased security in port areas and smaller crews as a result of using containers on ships.

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How to cite this page:

Jan Jordan, 'Sex work - 20th-century sex work', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 14 July 2024)

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