LAWPUBL 453 - Privacy Law

Credit points: 10 points
Offered: Semester One
Contact hours: 2 hours per week
Course Coordinator: Nikki Chamberlain / Associate Professor Stephen Penk
Prerequisites: LAW 211, 231

Course description

An examination of the law relating to privacy in New Zealand with special reference to the common law protection of privacy; the protection of privacy under statute, including the Broadcasting Act 1989 and the NZ Bill of Rights Act 1990, and the scope and application of the Privacy Act 1993.

Content outline

  • The concept of “privacy”
  • Privacy and related interests; competing interests
  • Sources of privacy law
  • Key privacy issues
  • The tort of invasion of privacy and other possible common law remedies — recent developments in New Zealand and comparable jurisdictions
  • Related torts
  • International privacy developments of relevance to New Zealand privacy law
  • Statutory protection of aspects of privacy in New Zealand
  • The Privacy Act 1993 — scope and application
  • Codes of practice
  • Protection of privacy under the Broadcasting Act 1989
  • New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 — extent of recognition of privacy interests
  • Selected applications (including privacy in employment; surveillance; privacy of health information; privacy, publicity and the media; data matching; transborder data flows)


1000 word assignment (20%)

2 hour open book exam / 4000 word PILO (80%)

Open book means that you may, if you wish, bring into the exam and refer to any materials such as casebooks, textbooks and study notes.

Recommended text

S Penk and R Tobin (eds), Privacy Law in New Zealand (2nd ed, 2016).