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Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 14858
Experience:  38 years qualified as a lawyer; LLB, MMgt and FAMINZ.
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I (the Landlord) and my tenants, a male individual and a

Customer Question

I (the Landlord) and my tenants, a male individual and a Family (Couple with two school age children, 10 year old girl and 4 year old boy) get 24 hours, 7 days a week "monitored" by my neighbours (a mentally depressed and unstable couple)"surveillance Camera."
Into girls bedroom, outdoor private living area, kitchen, entry doors, also my bedroom windows and all visitor car parks.
My question, "is that allowed in New Zealand under the NZ Privacy Act 1993 ?"
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 1 year ago.

The short answer is no, when it is too intrusive. There have been cases where a camera which is on the publically viewable areas has been permitted but where this actually looks into the bedrooms and kitchen, that is too intrusive. The police dont know much about privacy law at the local level, but you should contact the Privacy Commissioner at this site and make a formal complaint, which does not cost anything. They will try to negotiate with the neighbour but if unsuccessful, then you would need to get a formal complaint and orders to remove the cameras from the instrusive area. Generally you need to complain first to the neighbour but I suspect you have done this already. You can also sue in court for the breach of privacy but that would mean you needed a lawyer.

There is another angle as well. If they are taking intimate videos through the bedroom and other rooms, that is a serious criminal offence. People have been jailed for taking intimate video recordings, so you could complain to the police that you suspect that this is being done, and as them to look at the relevant section of the Crimes Act which I cite below.

216GIntimate visual recording defined


In sections 216H to 216N, intimate visual recording means a visual recording (for example, a photograph, videotape, or digital image) that is made in any medium using any device without the knowledge or consent of the person who is the subject of the recording, and the recording is of—


a person who is in a place which, in the circumstances, would reasonably be expected to provide privacy, and that person is—


naked or has his or her genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breasts exposed, partially exposed, or clad solely in undergarments; or


engaged in an intimate sexual activity; or


engaged in showering, toileting, or other personal bodily activity that involves dressing or undressing; or


a person’s naked or undergarment-clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or female breasts which is made—


from beneath or under a person’s clothing; or


through a person’s outer clothing in circumstances where it is unreasonable to do so.

216HProhibition on making intimate visual recording

Everyone is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years who intentionally or recklessly makes an intimatevisual recording of another person.