The legalities of "sugar daddy" dating

I was asked an interesting question recently about the rise of sugar daddy dating and what the legal implications may be for the people engaging in it.

If you're not familiar with the term, Sugar Daddy NZ dating is where a women - usually younger, often a student - pairs up with an older man who provides money, gifts or other material goods in exchange for "company," which may or may not include sexual activity (though it usually does).

If that sounds a bit like prostitution by another name, that's more or less what it is.

Of course, prostitution is legal in NZ but with certain limits. The main concern with the rise of these amateur "sugar babies" entering the industry is that they don't have the same health and safety consciousness and awareness of the dangers that more professional "working girls" might have. The big concern of activist organisation within the industry is that this will result in a rollback of the major gains made as a result of regulation and legalisation, which may threaten the long term status of the profession as a legal one. Widespread education and health and safety standards will be required to make sure this issue does not spiral out of control.