R v Ruth Wheeler  NZDC 9811
Published 17 August 2016
Whether evidence properly obtained — possession of methamphetamine for supply — Search and Surveillance Act 2012, s 20 — Evidence Act 2006, s 30 — R v Balsley  NZCA 258 — R v Williams  3 NZLR 207.
As a result of a search without warrant the defendant faced charges of possession of methamphetamine for supply.
Issues in the case were:
(a) whether Section 20 Search and Surveillance Act 2012 being complied with and the evidence properly obtained;
(b) if the evidence was improperly obtained, should it nevertheless be admitted, applying the balancing test in s 30 Evidence Act 2006?
Evidence was ruled as admissible despite the fact it had been improperly obtained by the Constable.
Although the Constable was found to have invoked s 20, the evidence was improperly obtained because the Constable was not acting within the scope of an implied licence and was therefore a trespasser when observing the defendant’s actions (Balsley).
However, Judge determined that exclusion of the evidence would have been disproportionate response to the impropriety involved (EA, s 30).