Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


NZ Post's audio recordings practice deemed 'unsettling'

Katie Doyle, Journalist

New Zealand Post has stopped the audio recording of posties who drive delivery vehicles after being told the practice is intrusive, unsettling, and unreasonable.

NZ Post Paxster
delivery vehicle

The Paxster delivery vehicles recorded audio via cameras installed inside. Photo: RNZ / Max Towle

The company previously suspended the recordings, following a complaint from the Postal Workers Union who said they breached privacy.

The Privacy Commissioner has just released the results of a subsequent investigation, which backs the union's argument.

The investigation was launched after an official complaint was made by a postie, who said he had been unfairly recorded by New Zealand Post.

"An NZ Post delivery agent complained to us about audio recordings made by cameras installed on "Paxster" electric delivery vehicles," said the Office of the Privacy Commissioner in a statement.

"His team leader had confronted him about phone calls he had made during his mail run and conversations he had had with members of the public. He was shocked and upset as he was unaware that the cameras had an audio capacity."

The investigation found that much of the recordings were taken of personal conversations, which breached the Privacy Act.

New Zealand Post said the recordings were an important tool for investigating accidents that may have occurred during the delivery round.

However, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it was unconvinced the recordings were necessary for safety purposes.

"Thousands of hours of footage were being collected about the delivery agents and members of the public, and yet there were relatively few accidents. It was not clear that the audio recordings would prevent accidents from happening or provide information that would lead to changes in safety policies."

The Office said the recordings had breached the postie's privacy and had caused him emotional harm.

"In our view, the need to investigate possible incidents and accidents needed to be balanced with the Delivery Agents' right to maintain a reasonable degree of privacy and dignity, and that of the people with whom they interact as they make their round," it said.

"The delivery agents spend a considerable amount of time in the Paxster vehicles and it would be unsettling for them, and unreasonably intrusive, to record audio during the entire time a Paxster is being driven."

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Scoop 3.0: Saving The News

Scoop Co-Founder Alastair Thompson - One of the saddest aspects of the decline of the news industry, not just here in NZ - but everywhere, is that it often seems invisible, in large part because news is a confidence business... More>>


"Scoop 3.0" Crowd Sale and PledgeMe Campaign: Taking Scoop's Model To The World

Scoop has a real shot at creating the future of independent news and media intelligence and a solution to the news crisis. The Scoop 3.0 plan aims to create NZ’s first community-owned, distributed, blockchain integrated, news and media intelligence ecosystem in 2019. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Why The Highly Educated Vote Centre-Left

In March of this year, the French economist Thomas Piketty published a paper tracing the political journey that the university-educated have taken across the political spectrum in the past 70 years... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Elizabeth Warren’s Plan To save Capitalism

Over the past six weeks, Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren has emerged from the pack as Trump’s likely Democratic rival in 2020... As set out in the Accountable Capitalism Act she launched in August, Warren aims to rein in those market forces. More>>