‘Mass surveillance not a solution’

The Wānaka Community Board was not aware of plans to install new CCTV systems in the Wānaka CBD.

Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) recently announced that they have made plans to install CCTV cameras to monitor parking spaces and help issue fines. The announcement of the plans came out before the Wānaka Community Board was notified of the developments. CCTV has been in operation since 2011 in the Wānaka CBD, but recent demands on parking spaces in town has severely increased since then, with 6,075 parking infringements issued last year. 

Barry Bruce, chairperson of the Wānaka Community Board, said that the board was not alerted to any plans of adding CCTV systems to the CBD, ‘‘It is something that hadn’t been brought to the community board, it is just something that has arbitrarily happened… This is something that the regulatory and compliance people have decided themselves, so we haven’t had any opportunity to have any input into that discussion.’’

While Bruce could not comment on the opinions of the board as a whole, they said that this kind of ‘mass surveillance’ was not the only solution to the problem at hand including making designated campervan parking and all day parking for people working in town, ‘‘parking is something that is very topical and I understand that it needs to be managed.’’ The community board is currently helping to devise a new parking strategy for Wānaka, which will look to decrease strain in certain areas.

While QLDC has said that the CCTV will be focused on parking, there are already systems in place for the purpose of monitoring public safety. These systems are able to be accessed by council and police, who have access to the systems for security protocols. Typically the data recorded by the CCTV is held for three months. As the new cameras are installed, the locations will be published on social media and on the QLDC website. Jack Barlow, QLDC media and channels advisor, said that, “this is still very much in its initial stages; however, QLDC will engage with the Wānaka Community Board ahead of any future roll out.”


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