Members of a bridal party are demanding a refund from their rural Auckland accommodation after they discovered a camera hidden in a light bulb.

Bridesmaid Sarah Muir said on discovering the 360-degree camera, which also recorded noises, they decided to all get dressed in the bathroom in the rural West Auckland property.

Muir told the Herald they arrived at the property, booked through, on the Friday evening and had just finished watching the news and being left weirded out after watching a segment on a man who put double-sided mirrors in his bathroom.

The group of five then joked about there being hidden cameras in their rented house, when Muir looked up and noticed one of the lightbulbs looked different from the others.


"We'd set up the wedding, had dinner and were just sitting around having a wine, going over the bride's vows and then that came up on the news, we joked and then we saw it.

"We searched the rest of the house and we couldn't find anything that looked like that but we don't know if they had other types of hidden cameras around. We just made sure that we got changed in the bathroom from then on, we thought that would be the safest place."

She said they were horrified by the find.

"We were pretty violated. If we hadn't have found that, we would have been getting changed in there the next day.

"If they have it for surveillance you need to actually advise people. We wouldn't have booked it if we had known there was a camera there."

She had since emailed the owner through and demanded a refund.

"I've just sent them a strongly worded email just advising we want our money back, it's a breach of our privacy."

She said she was currently seeking advice from a friend who was a police officer before making an official complaint.


Bride Shannell Henderson and her new husband Jimmy Fitzpatrick were both annoyed by the incident.

"It was an invasion of the girls' privacy," Fitzpatrick told the Herald. "They booked it as a place to get ready so it's pretty bad."

Photographer Michael Kouk arrived at the property the following day to take photos of the group getting ready.

He was also stunned by the camera in the light fitting.

"They were shocked and angry. Even myself. It's totally invading their privacy."

Not wanting to let the incident ruin the bride's day, they carried on getting ready and Kouk continued to take photos.

"We didn't take a look at the SD card, we just pulled it out and took a photo of it. Everyone's jaws were just dropping about seeing this spy camera in the open living room.

"But then we all just ignored it and tried not to ruin the bride's day."

Kouk said one of the bridal party had lodged a complaint with police.

The bridal party's angst was exacerbated by the owner walking in and out of the house, and wanting to reneg on a written deal that they could stay at the house until 2pm, Kouk said.

Kouk said the owner wanted them all out by 1pm. However, the group were allowed to stay the extra hour.

The hidden camera was found in this light fitting in the kitchen of the rural Auckland property. Photo / Michael Kouk
The hidden camera was found in this light fitting in the kitchen of the rural Auckland property. Photo / Michael Kouk

The group were leaving that same day so didn't plan on staying another night which was fortuitous, he said.

He posted about the ordeal on Facebook which has drawn the ire of most people, with one saying "That is wrong on so many levels, perverts," and "Shocking that is terrible".

He wanted others to be aware and be careful when hiring out properties.

"People have just got to be aware when they're next doing a booking for rental properties, you've got to make sure that you look around carefully."

He said spy cameras could be easily bought online for about $40 or $50 and could be found in alarm clocks, pens, hats or clothing.

"It's crazy."

The owner responded to the Herald saying they were currently out of the country for two weeks when they would be in touch.

A spokesperson for said the company was "concerned by the experience reported and are investigating fully".