Two Wellington sex entrepreneurs, whose 125-year old Palace Hotel (also known as Aurora Tavern) in central Auckland was in the process of being transformed into a brothel, are “gutted” that the Auckland City Council has demolished it.
Michael and John Chow’s property company, which purchased the Victorian- style building in 2008 for $3.3 million, had hoped to have it operating as a brothel by January next year, just ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup. But when dangerous cracks appeared in the facade of the category B – Historic Place Trust protected building on Thursday afternoon and an urgent investigation by Council officers and independent consultant engineers had concluded that the three-storey building could collapse, it was demolished that night.
Michael Chow is reported as saying:
“We have invested millions and millions on the property. I feel gutted, I feel they came to my home and they pulled it down. It was just a little bit of a crack“. [Emphasis added]
The decriminalising of prostitution under the Prostitution Reform Act 2003, opened up more than a little bit of a crack in the legal framework that had previously protected women to some degree from the exploitation and moral debasement – associated with prostitution. [Read more...]