Can you legally record a conversation?

Record a conversationIt is getting easier to record a conversation with iphones, android devices and so on. Can you legally record a conversation? Remember the famous case of the secret recording of John Key and John Banks in the Tea Cup Incident. Can you record a conversation in secret?

It is a question that comes up quite often these days, people wanting to record a conversation, and others being concerned about secret recordings. What are your rights under legislation?

According to Catherine Stewart, Employment Law Barrister, “covert recordings are generally against the law and in some circumstances may be a crime under the Crimes Act. In the employment arena, there is also the risk of breaching the good faith obligations in the Employment Relations Act if recordings are made without the other party knowing.”

So when is it a good idea to record a conversation in the employment arena, and how can you do it legally?

Catherine Stewart advises it is a good idea to record disciplinary meetings, provided that both parties agree. It can save many hours of debate at later hearings about what was or was not said at meetings.

However, before taking any recordings it is best practice to obtain the consent of everyone present. If a tape recording is made secretly, then the question of whether the Authority or Court will allow it to be used as evidence in a hearing later on will depend on the facts of each case.”

There you have it; you can record a conversation with the consent from the parties involved. Aureum would recommend the consent be in writing.