The NZ Police have been caught illegally spying (again) – what’s the bet no one loses their job?

There is a vast amount of power being concentrated into Police hands with almost no oversight from Civilian authorities whose obligation it is to protect the civil rights of the citizens.


Well, well, well.

What do we have here then?

Police illegally photographing youth, Māori a ‘widespread practice’, investigation finds

An investigation has found police are routinely and illegally photographing and filming young people and adults, the police and privacy watchdogs say.

That is just one of the findings in their bombshell joint inquiry that has revealed systemic problems with the way police take, store and use people’s private biometric information.

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The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) and the Privacy Commission (OPC) launched their investigation as a direct result of reporting by RNZ that police in Wairarapa were unlawfully photographing young Māori.

The report reveals a “widespread practice” has developed of officers routinely taking photographs of young people and adults in public for later identification with little cause.

People were photographed for simply looking “out of place”, or “suspicious”.

The police lack proper systems to be able to effectively use the photos gathered, with officers overstating the benefit of this type of intelligence.

Thousands of photographs of members of the public have been kept on officers’ phones or transferred to the police computer system which legally should been destroyed.

And officers have systematically photographed and fingerprinted minors in custody who have yet to be charged, with the joint inquiry contending that in many cases the information was unlawfully kept when it should have be deleted.

Of the tens of thousands of photos held in just one police database, half are of Māori.

All the complaints who came forward with specific complaints were Māori.

“Rangatahi and their whānau … consistently raised concerns that their treatment was as the result of their race,” the report said.

The report details a number of specific, upheld complaints of officers unlawfully taking pictures of young people on the street without consent.

In one incident, officers wrongly threatened to arrest a rangatahi if they did not consent to being photographed.

And in another officers uplifted rangatahi for care and protection reasons but had then photographed them in relation to a criminal investigation.

The inquiry found police practice and procedure had breached both New Zealand and international law covering the treatment of children and young people, and that officers did not understand privacy laws.

…of course the fucking Police have been abusing this grey zone, just like they abuse every grey zone they think they can exploit.

A vast number of street crimes are committed by young people, the Police use this informal off-channel intelligence network to identify young people and make easy arrests.

Look, no one minds an aggressive policing posture when one is required, but if all that is happening here is Police bullying easily intimated kids and people into admitting crimes and calling that a Policing solution, we are deluding ourselves!

We can not allow this to be framed as a ‘Māori’ problem, once it is framed that way, the wider pakeha society falsely think it’s not their problem because they’re not Māori! Over 50% of everyone caught up in this isn’t Māori, so don’t get tricked into believing this isn’t an ‘us’ issue as New Zealanders, because it sure as hell is!

An abuse of power against one of us, is an abuse of power against all of us!

The real dynamite question that is yet to be asked, is are NZ Police also aggressively pursuing DNA samples off young people as well?

We know it was an issue in 2010…

Maori youth urged not to give DNA samples

Maori youth urged not to give DNA samples to police

“Just say no” is the message Maori Party youth and police spokesperson Hone Harawira is giving to young Maori who were being asked by police to give a voluntary DNA sample.

“I’ve heard of a few cases where young Maori have been conned by police into giving DNA samples even when they haven’t committed a crime. One young Maori told me the police wanted the sample because one of their relatives might be known to police.

“Another told me the police wanted the sample in case the rangatahi got killed and the police needed to identify them.

…if NZ Police are still aggressively pursuing DNA samples, those revelations will be explosive.

And what of the Police response that they are spying illegally on people?

They are predictably in total denial.

Who will be held to account for this?

No one of course, just like last time!

Remember how all the Police surveillance of the Urewera Terror raids was illegal and had to be thrown out, what did John Key do about that? Why he passed retrospective legislation making the surveillance legal and passed the radically more powerful Search and Surveillance Powers.

No one will be held accountable for this intrusion into peoples lives by the Police, but it must demand questions over how far this type of mindset by the Police has intruded into their culture.

If Police believed they could exploit photographing people in public and heaving them for their details, what have they done with the facial recognition software that they at first denied existed, then admitted existed, then had to do a review of how many facial recognition programmes they were actually running, and then admitted it was many, and then admitted they had been working with questionable tech company well known for working with despots, all to the dismay of the Privacy Commissioner who said he hadn’t been told anything about this.

NZ Police were caught trailing face recognition software with no approval, told the public they would take a stocktake of these types of unapproved tests and the next thing we hear  they’ve actually gone ahead with a face recognition network with no oversight from the Privacy Commissioner?

If Police are doing this to young people on the street, and they have all the tools to do it via CCTV mass surveillance right now, how do we know they haven’t expanded the same justifications to switching on real time Facial recognition mass surveillance?

There is a vast amount of power being concentrated into Police hands with almost no oversight from Civilian authorities whose obligation it is to protect the civil rights of the citizens.

Real alarm bells should be going off on now into how far the NZ Police have expanded surveillance over the domestic population and who ultimately has control of the Eye of Mordor?

Graffiti outside the NZ Police Computer bombing


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  1. In a NZ divided by race/color there is no US, there are only different groups of people that can be played against each other. And both L and N are happy to divide us, as unity would see both Parties fail. So divide and conquer it is and it applies to absolutely everything. No such thing as a kiwi anymore, you are either maori or pakeha.

    • Kiwi is a bird!! I for one rather see ‘US’ as New Zealanders that have different experiences in our beautiful country than naming ‘US’ after a bird because most people around the globe wouldn’t know what a kiwi is? But they’ll know a ‘New Zealander’

      • Everyone on this planet knows what a Kiwi is. A. flightless blind bird. B. Person from New Zealand / Aotearoa (irrespective of race, gender, creed, class).

    • Agree, No such thing as a kiwi anymore, you are either maori or pakeha or migrant.

      There is no reason why, Maori or pakeha or migrants should be divided.

      Most people around the world, all want the same things in life – safety and privacy, is a big factor!

      The NZ concern is that they are creating an army of criminals and then targeting people who have done nothing wrong to photograph, presumably for AI inspired policing – robots that don’t need a human face.

      In addition NZ is so poor at technology while the neoliberal system of creating technology is so profit driven that poor technology from those sources often is chosen and incorrectly implemented, creating human rights hazards.

      In this example in the UK the government implemented a poor computer system that kept telling everyone that the postmasters in the UK were stealing money. They destroyed and jailed 700 people in this role, refusing to believe that it was their failed technology that was incorrect.

      “More than 700 branch managers were given criminal convictions when faulty accounting software made it look as though money was missing from their sites.
      It has been described as the most widespread miscarriage of justice in UK history, with dozens of convictions overturned and many more in line for compensation.”

      Post Office scandal: What the Horizon saga is all about

      Technology is only as good as those that implement and use it.

      Be filled with fear in NZ with our anti science, anti qualifications, woke led, big business is always right, IT approach then starts criminalising people!

      Current state of NZ police investigations – rather than focusing on technology and the innocent they might like to focus on what is going wrong internally ….

      Anomaly in car ownership law causes innocent man to be wrongfully arrested, lose $50,000 worth of possessions

      Body in burnt-out car for two days: Police told passerby it was a sheep

      Ex NZ police asian unit turned PI and immigration advisor, doing illegal work for someone later convicted as a murderer. No charges.

      Auckland police won’t prosecute ex-detective turned private eye over illegal surveillance

  2. The IPCA is fakenews they make dam sure to protect their colleagues even thou they’re suppose to be independent??? Its a clandestine org it’s a racket.

  3. Well you know all Maori males are rapists, dole bludgers, murderers, thieves ect … so why not take the preventative approach and label them and stigmatise them all regardless?

    Make the next recruitment drive for the popo be for photographers?

  4. IPCA is filled up with people from rest homes, stopping dregging rest homes for IPCA members…they, IPCA, struggle to understand basic Police corruption practices…bring in Internal Affairs type of Police oversight

  5. I can attest its not only maori. My family helped a young woman who had been bashed in the street not far from our house and we called the police. The detective demanded digital photos of my daughter her three teenage girlfriends myself and my wife – apparently just to help them keep clear in their file who was who. The cop thought she was at a suburban brothel. Lol.

  6. Again is the word that bothers me, if this were the other way around after your first warning action usually follows, so is it time the police got prosecuted?

  7. No surprise that actually existing police behaviour is at odds with the fine words spoken by Andrew Coster and Tania Kura in the witness box at their recent day infront of the Royal Commision of Inquiry into Abuse in Care. NZ Police treating young and vulnerable like shit, since always.

  8. There is a group of people that support the NZ Police right or wrong. A senior Whangārei cop got pinged by the IPCA earlier this year for pressuring a public prosecutor to drop an assault charge against the son of one of his mates, who also turned out to be a full business partner, which is clearly against Police policy. The cop was even outed by the conservative Whangārei Advocate paper after an OIA search that revealed he had offended before by threatening a person with assault during a video interview, thinking he had turned the sound down, but had not, it was discovered and he was not sacked.

    Most locals just ignore that cop, who also runs an orchard. Anyway it was quite sickening to hear a number of older pākehā neighbours saying to him that “the IPCA was mean to him, and good on him for standing by his mate”! FFS the guy did a classic perverting of the judicial process–one law for all?–not according to cop loving reactionaries.

    Which is a long introduction to my point on illegal cop photography–a lot of people just won’t care–just like they did not care about the introduction of photo driver licenses, the malls were chock full of people getting what were effectively ID cards and a visual data base of citizens.

    In the North the cops photograph Māori kids more often than not, I have seen them do it at car stops and around town ships. It is racial profiling, “Minority Report” style bollocks. Keep people in poverty and of course there is a good chance of them annoying the warm and well fed.

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