While the Auckland Police and the Auckland Medical Office of Health has not objected to the application by the Chow brothers for the renewal of the licence of their Penthouse Club and adjoining brothel Galaxy Club and application for a new licence of strip bar Mermaids and brothel Splash Club, a rival company tried to block the applications.
The objection by Calendar Girls owner Jacqui Le Prou is that Auckland doesn't need additional strip clubs. Ms Le Prou said, quoted by Herald on Sunday, "I know of clubs that are struggling ... They Chows are playing Monopoly - whether it's pulling a building down or stopping someone from getting a licence, they will take over. So look out Auckland, look out Hamilton."
Six women provided evidence to block the Chow's licence applications. One of them, a professional dancer who has worked in New Zealand, Australia and the U.S. for about a decade in such sleazy joints, alleged that the Chow brothers, Michael and John, allow higher intoxication levels compared to clubs she was worked in the three countries. They added female workers were attacked, the staff got drunk to finish their shift and the brothers didn't care about the working conditions in their establishments.
It seems that Ms Le Prou is just returning what the Chows did to her in 2012 when the brothers successfully blocked her application to renew the alcohol licence of Calendar Girls in Wellington, resulting in Ms Le Prou being allowed to sell her clients in Wellington only beer with an alcohol level of 1 per cent.
This time in her turf, Auckland, Ms Le Prou claimed the patrons in Chow's bars were allowed to be excessively intoxicated, were intentionally overcharged and sexual assaults against employees were not reported to authorities.
The Chows are immigrants from Hong Kong in 1984 who own 70 per cent of the sex trade business in New Zealand's capital city. They had since expanded to the financial capital of the country, Auckland, with stripclubs and prostitution houses on Gore St and Karangahape Road.
The brothers have an estimated wealth of $50 each, resulting them being included in the NBR Rich List for the first time in 2013. John controls the Auckland business, while Michael runs the Wellington enterprises.
The court reserved its decision on the licence applications of the Chows.