The Herald on Sunday published this story about a model of security cameras used in taxis that is failing to provide usable images that can be passed onto Police after alleged incidents of violence and sexual attack.
Security cameras became mandatory in almost all taxis in 2011 when the Government made a rule change in response to the murder of Auckland driver Hirren Mohini.
The NZTA has attempted to wash its hands of any responsibility for the installation of dodgy cameras:
In a statement, NZTA spokesman Andy Knackstedt said the agency was aware of allegations of substandard or counterfeit equipment. “Issues of quality and authenticity are civil matters between the sellers and buyers of the equipment,” he said.
That’s not good enough. Only cameras that appear on the NZTA’s list of approved models can be installed in taxis. The Hikvision cameras at the centre of this scandal appear on that list. It was therefore reasonable for the three companies that have installed them to expect they met the standards required in Schedule 2 of the rule change.
Michael Woodhouse says he is looking into it and well he should. If the NZTA has failed make certain that these cameras meet basic functional requirements, the Government must take responsibility for the fact that vital evidence that should have been available to investigate serious and violent crimes could not be retrieved. Unless the cameras are counterfeits and not what they say they are, this is clearly a matter of Government responsibility.
I wonder if this is really the first a minister has heard of this issue.