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NZ Herald
July 19 2006

Father told to stop filming son on pool slide
By Maggie McNaughton

An Auckland father of three is outraged that he and his wife were told to stop filming their 1-year-old son going down a slide by attendants at a Mt Albert swimming pool.

Alistair Hayward contacted the Herald yesterday in response to an article about a mother in Canterbury who was dressing her 16-month-old by the side of a pool when an attendant told her child nudity was banned. He said the incident happened at the Philips Aquatic Centre in March last year.

"I got my wife to videotape my 1-year-old son going down the slide for the first time, while I held his hand, and two lifeguards rushed up to us to tell us we weren't allowed to videotape him."

Asked why, they told Mr Hayward it related to "privacy issues". He said one of the lifeguards then told him he hated telling people they weren't allowed to film their kids.

Mr Hayward said there were no signs at the pool banning video cameras. "To make things even more pathetic, they had security cameras all over the place. Surely if they were concerned over privacy issues, security cameras would be in breach of that too."

Mr Hayward said it was political correctness gone mad. "I could understand their policy if there was a dirty old man filming random kids ... but I was holding my son's hand, my wife was filming us and our other two kids were nearby ... It shouldn't have raised an eyebrow.

"I've now missed the opportunity to film my son going down a slide for the first time."

My Hayward said the pool had apologised for the incident and sent him free passes.

Centre manager Paul Kite said the two lifeguards, who were later spoken to by management, had taken the pool's policy too far. "We do have a policy that if you want to film or take pictures you are meant to [seek] permission. However, that rule is flexible."

He said Mr Hayward should have been allowed to continue filming his son that day.

"It was inappropriate that they were approached and they should have been allowed to continue."

He said the aquatic centre, in the grounds of Mt Albert Grammar School, did not have an issue with parents dressing their young children near the pools.