Would you like the council to spy on you when you’re sunbathing?


We have no idea what to think about our privacy.  On the one hand we put our photos on the Internet for many (if not everyone) to see, almost half the country gets uptight at the idea the government might spy on bad people who amount to a hundred or so, and now this:  

A camera installed at an Auckland beach to keep an eye on beachgoers has been labelled by some as an invasion of privacy.

Takapuna is testing the surveillance option ahead of a review on dog by-laws and local board chairman Mike Cohen admits it requires “some degree of spying”.

Takapuna Beach is a no go zone for dogs between 10am and 6.30pm and the community board says it needs accurate information to work out how the beach is being used ahead of an upcoming bylaw review.

The council says the camera takes far range panoramic shots and the photos won’t be publicised. It’s also adamant the rolling snapshots won’t reveal people’s identities, creating a silhouette, but some question just how blurry the snaps will be given the whole idea is to identify the number of beachgoers and dogs using the beach.

Let’s not be coy.  The camera will be capable of being panned and zoomed to the point where they can zoom in on anyone’s face.   Or, not their face, if you get my drift.

The decision to install the camera has met some strong opposition, with board member Jan O’Connor saying people don’t want to be photographed on the beach.

However others told ONE News they aren’t concerned and the council and don’t think any privacy would be breached.

“I don’t find it invasive in any way,” one woman said.

Well, one woman didn’t find it invasive.  That’s ok then.  What are we worried about with security personnel having the capability to see people get changed, run around in their bathers, and take permanent photographs unknown to those who are actually in the photo.

At a minimum the total area should have clear signage warning people that they may have their activities recorded.


Would you avoid a beach like that?

Would you avoid it if you wanted to go for a swim?


– One News


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  • LabTested

    Of course the cameras will be hacked within a week.

    • Mark

      Hacking is a crime,there will be Police pulled off revenue gathering in their downtime to investigate hacking!

      • Annie218

        Yeah right!!

    • sheppy

      Given Auckland councils lack of ability in everything apart from rates increases I’d expect a couple of days.

  • Cowgirl

    I’m torn – on the one hand I wouldn’t want myself in my togs recorded for anyone to use for any purpose without my consent. On the other hand there is not much to stop anyone surreptitiously filming or taking photographs there anyway, and if I am worried about privacy, don’t I check that at the door when going to the beach (or anywhere in public) at all? I wouldn’t want to go to that beach though if I knew that was going on there. Plenty of other nice beaches to go to.

  • Hard1

    “Warning; You are being watched by other humans possessing video recording devices wherever you go 24/7.” That’ll fix it.

  • Ben

    Couldn’t care less.

  • Damon Mudgway

    So whats the difference between some perv being actually at the beach using his eyes to ‘spy’ on beachgoers, and a cameras eye perving on them. And let’s be frank here, every man and his ostrich has a camera in their cell phone, so both the actual perv and the camera perv can take snaps.

    We have already allowed every other member of the public to spy on us, so it’s all really a big:

    • Ratchette

      Len can spy from the security of his secret room. Hate to be the cleaner.

      • Damon Mudgway

        Yeah, that aspect is pretty revolting. Filthy little man he is.

        • Ratchette

          I agree, odious, obscene, grubby individual.
          Sadly the ‘face’ of Auckland for another two years.

  • conwaycaptain

    It’s Len looking at the TALENT

    • sheppy

      Perhaps he’s selecting the next one for 2 minutes behind his bookcase

  • sheppy

    Another piece of privacy taken away thanks to out of control Auckland Council – good old Lyin’ Len

  • Wallace Westland

    What a load of bureaucratic twaddle. Let’s take a closer look at this.
    A review of dog laws, what does that mean?
    *Dogs are restricted from the beach between certain hours.
    *The cameras show people ignore the restrictions and take their dogs to poo all over the beach any time it suits them.
    *The whiny left wingers on the local board decide that the minority need to be pandered to and since some people clearly need to walk Fido at times when they aren’t allowed on the beach the easiest solution is to remove the restrictions.

    Why do we need the cameras?

    • taurangaruru

      Agree, the reason given for the camera is very dodgy. I am sure there are hordes of staff employed as dog rangers at Auckland Council. If this beach has become a problem why not deploy half a dozen rangers there for a week or two until the problem is cleaned up? No need for cameras at all & especially in the hands of leftie socialists like local council.

  • Ratchette

    Why Takapuna Beach ? People walking dogs as a reason …. absolute tosh. Absolute waste of ratepayers dollars.
    If the council needed to know if there is a ‘people walking dogs’ problem I am sure they could employ a student to periodically monitor the beach.

    Instal the CCTV in lying len’s secret room where ‘he dose what he doesn’t confess’

    I refrained from using ‘boudoir’ which is a lady’s private bedroom or sitting room, or dressing room, however the term derives from the French verb bouder, meaning “to sulk”

  • timemagazine

    I am a law abiding citizen and so is the wast majority, so yes I mind these cameras on a beach very much. This is more a soviet era style survalance.

  • Timboh

    A good opportunity for a council optic nerve (perv) to get his jollies during the summer season. Outrageous. If someone was at the beach taking videos of strangers the outrage would be heard in the town hall.

  • KGB

    Wouldn’t catch me dead in a Takapuna beach crowd, let alone in togs. Now if they were spying in my back yard watching us streak from house to spa…

    • Someone probably is.

      • KGB

        Too true. Never trust a top-dressing pilot :)

    • Dog Breath

      Togs or undies where is the line :-)

    • dgrogan

      Without your togs, you could move south, around the rocks, to St Leonards, KGB. Used to be quite notorious once-upon-a-time (I’m told). :)

      • KGB

        Shhh don’t tell Len

  • colin herbertson

    like it or not the age of big brother is upon us,it’s the flipside of the electronic/information culture we live in. survaillance can be the best crime fighting tool ever invented, or the greatest tool of oppression ever invented depending on who’s watching.but it’s now a fact of life, This is a public area anyone could be filming you,the best you can say is if you got nothing to hide you got nothing to fear.

  • PsychoKea

    I’m OK with this as long as a security camera is also put in Lens office, quid pro quo

    • dgrogan

      Ha. Those recordings would need to be ‘X’ rated from what I’ve read. No wait…we’re talking actual office, not secret-dressing-room, right?

  • oldmanNZ

    Did you know theres a camera on the tank farm you can see whos there, and caneras on the motorways, they not hi resolution fir the public.

    But every time you walk in a supermarket or dairy, you are on camera, hi resolution.

    Some areas in the city, you are on camera.

    Would the camera reduce thieves on the beach?

    Is the dog issue a concern? Just park a dog controllers van nearby?

  • Dog Breath

    I guess the issue here is the integrity of those charged with monitoring or using these cameras. The security agencies have comprehensive critetia for their staff (security clearances) before they are allowed anywhere near information consequently there is an expectation that their integrity is of the highest standard possible for a NZ citizen. This same standard will not apply in this case and could actually be of a very low standard. How can the public be assured that the integrity of people who are in charge of this capability are of a suitable standard.

  • Any number of people already filming people at the beach less than fully dressed and posting for all to see …………. so I’ve heard.

  • Annie218

    Takapuna is my local beach and watching people walking their dogs in the early morning is a pleasure – the dogs love it and I love watching. It’s a joy to behold the way dogs of all types interact and play together – it would do kids good to watch. Have yet to see a fight (maybe a few harsh barks) and have yet to see an owner not pick up the ‘leftovers’.
    This is an out of control council not focused on the basics who once again are about to re-regulate something that is working fine. Their approach seems to be ‘its working, so lets muck it up’.
    The camera isn’t the issue – it’s what the information they gather from the camera is going to be used for that’s the issue we should be concerned about.

    • Saggy

      When not on holiday we usually treat our dog to a trip across the bridge to Milford Beach once a weekend. We are off the beach by 10:00 as required in daylight saving season. I have never seen any problems between dogs and other dogs or people. Zoe does occasionally say hello to someone who’s not as interested in her as she as in them but never heard a harsh word spoken.
      More often we take her closer to home to Waiatarua Reserve which is a 30 minute or so walk around a beautiful wetland area. There are constant rumours about the council considering banning dogs due to impact on the wildlife. In my experience the cranky old swans have the measure of the dogs and I’ve never seen a dog with a duck or anything else.

  • Saggy

    If someone wants to immortalise me in my budgie smugglers then they’re sad puppies but I couldn’t care less.
    PS just kidding re the budgie smugglers.

  • Cadwallader

    Do you mean that you skinny dip?

  • Michael_l_c

    Cameras focused on the beach, during summer, people in togs.
    Who will be watching the watchers? Who will be watching the watchers watching the watchers ….?
    What did we do in the ‘old days’.

    • dgrogan

      “What did we do in the ‘old day’? It was quite acceptable to watch then. There wasn’t much to see, apparently. Times have changed.

  • symgardiner

    If you are in public you have no expectation of privacy. If people are worried that much about their privacy, wear a bur-qua, not a bikini or budgie smuggler.

  • Eiselmann

    Not overly concerned , thou I have to say before I read the story I wondered if the camera feed was sent directly to Len’s office…sadly it wouldn’t surprise if he didn’t get some sort of highlights package at least

  • Kelvin

    Any advertising is good advertising. And this one is free too.

  • Charlie

    And while TV one are telling us how terrible it is to video people on the beach, they are doing exactly that, confused? sure am!

  • Pharmachick

    Random impertinent questions:

    1) What is the upfront cost of the cameras as well as maintenance/service contract, the cost of the person to monitor the cameras and the cost in real terms to generate and post fines for the few dog walkers that are “in breach” of this council bylaw (even if they COULD work out where to send the fines)?

    Is that in any way comparable to the cost of wages/salary for the existing council dog control officer to be parked at Takapuna beach (or elsewhere) for a couple of hours and issue spot fines?

    Don’t bother – I know the answers, just felt like this was a question that needs to be raised. When the council has a massive deficit this out-of-control spending and under utilization of existing resources is a shocker.

    Edit: clarity and grammar

    • Kimbo

      Omigod, A benefits/cost analysis within Auckland Council !? Surely you jest.

  • Backdoor

    When in a public place you are on public display. People can see you. If you do not want to be seen then stay home. The whole thing is just a beat-up.

  • LesleyNZ

    Wouldn’t worry me at all. The beach is a public place. There should be more cameras like this in public places. There are lots of street cameras in Singapore – the safest place in the world. Fed up with unleashed dogs running every which way where I live and dog owners who couldn’t care less about their aggressive dogs roaming onto private property.