Hikvision security camera deployments come under scrutiny in New Zealand
The use of Hikvision security cameras is being reviewed by some organizations in New Zealand, following the UK recently rolling back on some contracts with the company.
The rationale behind the decision is that Hikvision’s technology is allegedly being employed by the Chinese government to monitor and control Uyghur minorities in the country with biometrics.
Hikvision has always denied the claims, but this has not stopped countries from banning the company’s biometric tech or imposing sanctions on it.
In New Zealand, the controversial company came under scrutiny as early as 2018, but public agencies have continued to acquire and install its cameras.
According to Radio New Zealand (RNZ), Auckland Transport (AT) has deployed hundreds of Hikvision cameras across its systems but has now decided not to buy any more.
“Although AT has previously installed Hikvision cameras across the network, we are no longer installing new models from this manufacturer,” AT told RNZ.
Instead, the transport company has signed a contract with Clear Digital for VivoTech and Uniview hardware. The new suppliers will reportedly only replace Hikvision cameras when they reach the end of their life.
The RNZ investigation also inquired with Rotorua Lakes Council, who reportedly said in an official information requests (OIR) response in February it had 106 Hikvision CCTV cameras in public areas.
The council allegedly responded it bought CCTV equipment through a third party and had to “look into this further,” it said in regard to Hikvision’s human rights claims.
If public institutions and government agencies in the UK, U.S., and New Zealand continue investigating and cutting ties with Hikvision, the pattern could snowball into a major loss of international market share for the company.
On the other side of the spectrum is Myanmar, which recently announced the creation of five more ‘safe city’ surveillance schemes relying on Hikvision, Dahua, and Huawei cameras with facial recognition capabilities.