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Kaikoura toilet camera in spotlight again

July 11,2016 10:07

Kaikoura toilet camera in spotlight again. MIKE WATSON AND ELENA MCPHEE. Last updated 20:13, July 11 2016. A camera looks into a toilet cubicle in Kaikoura. SUPPLIED/JOSHUA MILNER. A camera looks into a toilet cubicle in Kaikoura. A camera ...



SUPPLIED/JOSHUA MILNER

A camera looks into a toilet cubicle in Kaikoura.

A camera looking into a toilet cubicle in Kaikoura continues to cause a stink.A visitor to the seaside town, famous for its whale watching, has taken offence after spotting the CCTV camera in the town's toilets over the weekend.Joshua Milner posted a photograph of the camera on Facebook questioning the legality of its use.

EMMA DANGERFIELD/FAIRFAX NZ

The 'view' from the camera inside the Kaikoura public toilets.

Milner felt the position of the camera would catch people sitting on the toilet, he said. READ MORE:* Kaikoura toilet camera to remain* Toilet spy camera flushed away* Public's right to poo should be protectedThe Office of the Privacy Commissioner said someone would have to make a complaint before it could investigate.

Spokesman Charles Mabbett said if the camera did catch people sitting on the toilet, the Kaikoura District Council would need to justify its actions. The council could would probably end up in hot water. "It would be very, very difficult for them to justify doing it," Mabbett said. 

However, if the camera was simply trained on the entrance or handbasins that would be less serious, Mabbett said. 

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Mabbett said the council would probably have a good case for training cameras on the doorway if the toilets had been vandalised in the past. Kaikoura Mayor Winston Gray said cameras were installed in two of the cubicles in 2007 to reduce vandalism and anti-social behaviour.They had slashed vandalism and drug-taking inside the toilets by an estimated 95 per cent, Gray said.Gray said he visited the toilets frequently, to check on any vandalism and to answer "the call of nature"."I feel entirely comfortable going into the men's toilet," he said."There's nothing lewd about them, they don't show anything which would be an invasion of someone's privacy."Milner said there were already security cameras outside the toilet building, so he did not see why they should be inside. "It just doesn't seem like they should [be there]," he said. The Christchurch man was in Kaikoura for the weekend on holiday, he said. "It's a nice place and stuff, but [the cameras] kind of put me off a wee bit," he said. The cameras were the subject of a parliamentary select committee hearing on law reform and justice in 2010 when press gallery journalist Neale McMillan questioned whether they invaded an individual's privacy.McMillan told the committee that a camera in public toilets demonstrated a lack of boundaries around the use of surveillance cameras.

 - The Marlborough Express

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