Inter-city rivalry burst into naked view last week as Hastings and Napier battled for shares of the Rugby World Cup prostitution trade, which national media has reported will explode during the coming competition.
A huge influx of sex workers is expected in Hawke’s Bay during the World Cup to service rugby fans eager to score tries off the playing field.
Both the Hastings and Napier Councils are offering incentive packages to lure the sex business to their respective cities.
“We’re in a stiff competition,” said Mayor Lawrence Yule. “We’re going all the way to get our piece of the action.” He announced that the Hastings and Havelock North I-Sites, as well as the Opera House ticket office, would be offering booking services for out-of-town prostitutes.
The Hastings Council has organized a 24/7 ‘Sex Shuttle’ bus service connecting McLean Park with Hastings’ bustling CBD nightlife, with intermediate stops along Karamu Road’s motel strip. However, Havelock North Councillor (and motor lodge owner) Wayne Bradshaw is outraged that bus service will not be extended to Havelock North. “Village ratepayers pay a major share of the Council’s income, yet we’re getting screwed, but only figuratively,” he fumed.
A special adults-only ‘Water Whoopie’ slide experience has been installed at Splash Planet. Even the Te Mata Peak Trust is doing its part, claiming its ‘Peak Experience’ package (available only after dark) will offer the ‘highest sex in the Bay’.
“They don’t call Hastings a service centre for nothing,” says Mayor Yule.
But Napier, aroused by Hastings’ provocative pose, is fighting back.
‘Couples Caravans’ will be allowed special permits to park along Marine Parade after hours. Marineland will be re-opened for the rugby window so that its facilities are available for sex workers walking the Parade. And we don’t dare describe, on a family-oriented blog, the activities planned for Ocean Spa.
Motels owners on the Parade are quite frustrated about competition from the ‘Couples Caravans’. “The Mayor won’t listen to us. What can we do? We’re impotent,” said one. That’s not entirely true … Baybuzz has been informed that hourly rates will be available at most motels.
Napier native and sex worker Belinda Carlisle complained to BayBuzz that out-of-towners were being offered incentives to bring their services into Hawke’s Bay. “We locals have never gotten so much as a pat on the butt from the Napier Council, and yet we’ve never failed to give our customers a memorable Napier experience. You think those tourists come here for Art Deco?”
Ms Carlisle, whose day job is practicing law, pointed out that under the Prostitution Reform Act 2003, only NZ citizens and people with residency can work in the sex industry. “Who will be checking the bona fides of these foreign parasites?” she asked. Citing evidence from the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective, she noted that illegal foreign sex workers who came here were predominantly Chinese. “First they come in and buy all our dairy cows, and now they’ll be flashing their illegal teats all over Hawke’s Bay.”
Ms Carlisle called upon all Kiwi men “to stand erect for the Pure New Zealand brand.”
Hamish, Matt and Clive, standing nearby, said they would, but Matt worried that big-spending foreign rugby fans would “get all the good girls, just like the American troops during World War II.” “But at least we smell better than the Frenchies,” muttered Clive.
Mayor Arnott would not address the nationality issue directly, commenting only that “economic intercourse has always been the major goal of Napier’s ‘sister city’ relationships with Xuzhou and Lianyungang.” Adding, “The welcome mat is always down for our sisters from China.”
Both HDC and NCC have given their respective brothels permission to operate around the clock to accommodate the expected surge in business.
The stakes are huge. Local economist Keith Bevin estimates that, with flow on effects (sales of food, drink, lodging, cosmetics, apparel, taxi service, possum souvenirs, etc), the economic value of each ‘try’ will be approximately $5,000. He projects 30,000 tries in Hawke’s Bay over the Rugby World Cup period, yielding a gross value of $150 million, which slightly exceeds the value of this year’s apple harvest.
Moreover, Hawke’s Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas claims: “The value of rugby sex will be even higher, because so much of this activity occurs under the covers. Sixty percent of rugby visitors will be staying with friends, as opposed to motels and hotels, and we have no way to monitor their use of ‘home delivery’.”
In any event, the last word goes to Bevin: “Rugby sex will provide a huge stimulus to the Bay’s flaccid economy, and boy do we need a lift.”
Extra! Just in, this media statement from the Central Hawke’s Bay Mayor Peter Butler: “We don’t have any sex workers down here in Lamb Country, but we do have plenty of sheep if the need arises.”