How Private is Private When Taking Photos in a Public Place?

At last year’s Melbourne Cup, a young Kiwi woman had her photograph circulated around the globe after a journalist photographed her antics at the races. As the woman was in a public place with no expectation of privacy no criminal offence was committed, nor was there any civil wrong. This would also be the case in New Zealand. The situation raises some interesting questions about how private is private when taking photographs in a public place?

What are the rules?

It’s generally lawful to take and/or publish photos or film people in public places such as a beach, shopping mall, park or other public place without their consent. There is no expectation of privacy in these places.

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Changes to employment law

images (1)From 1 April 2011 a number of significant changes to employment law will come into effect.

The most important change (and the one that seems to be receiving little media attention) is the change to the ‘test of justification’ in respect of personal grievances. Presently, when an employee complains of being unjustifiably dismissed the Courts look at what the employer should have done in all the circumstances. The test is to be relaxed to become what could a reasonable employer have done. Provided the employer’s actions fall within the range of a what a reasonable employer could have done then no personal grievance can be upheld.

Other changes include the extension of the 90 day grievance free probationary period to all employers and the ability for employees to ask that their fourth week of annual leave is cashed up.

To understand how these changes affect you please feel free to contact Chris on 07 872 0877 or 021 2421601.

Read the press release from the Minister of Labour below…

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