On Saturday, an open letter was sent to Government Ministers from several self-described “sex workers”. The letter, penned by well known Auckland stripper Lisa Lewis, challenges the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC), its use of funding, and its monopolising of conversation on prostitution. The letter “rejects NZPC as our representative”, and requests that government investigate NZPC spending and “stop funding an organisation that doesn’t represent grass roots”.
“NZPC claims it is run by sex workers for sex workers. How many sex workers work at NZPC?” Lewis asked. International feminists Janice Raymond and Julie Bindel have addressed similar questions about NZPC recently, in an
NZPC receives over one million dollars per annum in funding from the Ministry of Health. “An inquest into the million dollar per annum financial records and spending from NZPC needs to be done,” writes Lewis, “on behalf of all tax payers and sex workers.”
According to Lewis, since NZPC’s claim that it is a “grassroots, not for profit organisation” is not tenable, “This raises serious concerns in terms of what and where this money is going.”
Lewis also questions NZPC’s positions on prostituted persons with illegal immigration status, suggesting that NZPC is currently attempting to decriminalise sex trafficking for its own purposes. This claim has much to back it up, since NZPC is a branch of a global organisation – the Global Network of Sex Work Projects – that has been run by a convicted sex trafficker.