A freelance cameraman says the teapot tape incident that became the focus of last year's election campaign has been a costly controversy for him.
Bradley Ambrose recorded the conversation between Prime Minister John Key and Act Party candidate John Banks as they chatted at an Auckland cafe in the lead up to last year's general election.
The recording lasted fewer than eight minutes, but it stirred up months of trouble.
Key went to the police over the recording, saying the conversation was private.
But today police revealed they will not lay charges against Ambrose, despite finding the recording to be unlawful.
Police said they agreed the conversation was private and said the recording was at best "reckless", but more likely deliberate.
Ambrose told ONE News today he has been hit in the pocket as a result of the incident.
"Work went extremely quiet. Very, very quiet. It was a political hot potato and people just couldn't use me and that really, really hurt."
"It has been unbelievably tough and tiring as you can imagine having the Prime Minister upset at something you've done."
The freelance cameraman does not think his actions were unlawful and said if they were he would have been prosecuted.
While police ruled that the recording was unlawful, they have only issued Ambrose with a warning, saying one of the factors they took into account was a letter of regret that Ambrose sent to Key and Banks - read the full letter here
While Key said he welcomed today's decision.
"I also welcome Bradley Ambrose's letter of regret," Key said in a statement.
"I note that the police statement today contains the comment that, while Mr Ambrose has been issued a warning, the police are clear that his actions were unlawful.
Key said the Crown Solicitor sought his views on whether Ambrose should be prosecuted.
"In light of Mr Ambrose's letter of regret, I indicated that I did not believe a prosecution was now necessary.
Not a 'News of the World tactic'
In the letter Ambrose said he accidentally left the microphone on the cafe table in a rush to get ready for the meeting.
He said when he realised what had happened he spoke to Key's staff and could not understand why they were concerned.
He said he regrets passing on the audio to the Herald on Sunday and said if he could go back he would delete the recording straight away.
"I had no intention of secretly recording any conversation."
"Contrary to what has been said by some people, this was not intentional, nor was it a 'News of the World tactic'."
He said there was no money offered for the recording by the Herald and the whole event has been "blown out of proportion".
Labour leader David Shearer told ONE News the whole investigation was a waste of police resources.
"It was completely predictable, this is a publicity stunt, it went wrong and we've just wasted four months of police time."
Police refuse to say how much the investigation into the recording cost, but said three staff worked part time on it.
During the final week of the election, Ambrose sought a declaration from the High Court on whether the conversation was private.
If it had been declared to be public, the tapes could have been published.
However Chief High Court judge, Justice Helen Winkelmann, refused to give a declaration, saying it would amount to trial before police had finished investigating.
In January, the tapes were leaked online, upstaging Key's scene-setting speech for the year. However, they have not been published anywhere else as police say it would be unlawful to play the recording.
Professor Andrew Geddis, a public law expert, said he thinks the teapot tapes soured Key's relationship with the media.
"And I think there's a good argument that it brought Winston Peters back into Parliament."
Meanwhile, the teapot used during the meeting at Newmarket's Urban Cafe has been sold - raising $6000 for Warkworth Hospital.