Last month the Tokerau Beach and Whatuwhiwhi Residents' and Ratepayers' Association was told that the Far North District Council would not approve the placing of CCTV cameras on legal roads, or their attachment to council-owned street light poles, on the Karikari Peninsula, because the council did not have a policy (in terms of privacy), while a structural engineer's report, to be paid for by the association, would be needed for each pole.

That all changed on Tuesday, when members of the association, and its CCTV project sub-committee, met with Mayor John Carter.

Mr Carter told the delegation that he did not believe the the council needed a policy, and he was confident that he could "get this through council", it was just a matter of when.

Before the day was out chief executive Shaun Clarke went further, saying the issue did not need to go to the council, and that the project could proceed, once the legalities of the Privacy Act had been met. He did not expect that to delay progress.


Project manager Evan Mackay said yesterday that he was still pinching himself.

"I got a call from Mr Clarke saying we could go ahead, as long as the electrical work is done by a qualified tradesperson," he said.

"There were no problems with privacy or using council poles."

Some work still needed to be done, however. For example, Top Energy's approval would be needed to connect the cameras to the power supply, and he would be getting on to that in the next day or two.

He also hoped to meet with Focus Paihia, which has also installed cameras, and had had issues over privacy, to see if there was some way of addressing common issues that would serve as a template for other communities.

Last week the association said sufficient money, more than $30,000, including $20,000 from one family (who wished to remain anonymous), had been donated to fund the first stage of the project. Cameras had been installed outside the Bayview at Whatuwhiwhi, focusing on traffic using the intersection.