There is increasing noise in the environment and this is a result of the increasingly industrialised society in which we live.
Noise in the workplace is the responsibility of the employer.
Noise from individual vehicles is the responsibility of Police.
Environmental noise is controlled by Council. Environmental noise can be classified as unreasonable noise and excessive noise.
It is important to call us when the noise is happening, so we can take action as soon as possible. The Noise Control Officer will visit the site and determine whether the noise is reasonable or excessive, as determined by the Resource Management Act 1991. The officer will take into consideration the volume, time of day and type of noise. If our officer determines that the noise is excessive, they will serve a written Excessive Noise Direction.
As our district is vast, it is important to note that, in some cases, it can take up to an hour for an officer to arrive on site.
Need to make a noise complaint?
Please ensure you read the additional information on this page to check if the noise you are concerned about is excessive. If you would still like to make a complaint, call our 24-hour, seven-days-a-week Customer Service Team on 07 862 8609 or 0800 734 834 (within district)
Noise that may be controlled could include a land based activity such as a factory. In most cases there are rules set out in the District Plan which defines what is an acceptable level of noise. Generally a series of measurements is required to determine if the noise exceeds the rule. Council has staff who are trained in the assessment of noise and in investigating noise problems.
Excessive Noise is any noise that unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort and convenience of others. The noise has to be under the ‘control’ of another person. Some examples are:
- Loud music (music from stereos or a band practice)
- Machinery (chainsaws, lawn mowers)
- Car and/or house alarms
Noises that are acceptable during the daytime are often not acceptable at night therefore ‘noise’ can be difficult to define. Acceptability can depend on things like:
- Location of your neighbours
- Time of day
- Type of noise
- Whether the noise is in a residential, commercial or rural area
The noise control officer will attend the locality, listen to the noise and form an opinion on whether or not the noise is excessive. If in the officers opinion the noise is excessive, an Excessive Noise Direction will be issued. This requires the offender to stop making the noise for a period of up to 72 hours. If the noise starts again or continues after a direction has been issued the officer can enter the premises with the Police and remove the noise making equipment.
An Abatement Notice can be issued for on-going unreasonable noise. The notice will require cessation of noise to a reasonable level, in general line with District Plan noise limits. If the person/s to whom the notice is directed do not comply with the notice, an infringement fine of $750.00 can be issued.
Noise Control Fees
Pursuant to Section 333 of the Resource Management 1991 Council is able to set a fee for the costs incurred when seizing equipment that is the source of justified noise complaints.
Council's policy is that for the first impounding of such equipment a fee of $210.00 is payable before the equipment can be collected.
|Seizure of items under Resource Management Act 1991||Fee (including GST)|
|First Impounding - payable before the equipment can be collected||$210.00|
|Second impounding - equipment not returned at all||N/A|
|Noise Control infringement fees||Fee (including GST)|
|Failing to adhere to an excessive noise direction||$500.00|
|Failing to adhere to an abatement notice for unreasonable noise||$750.00|
How can I be a good neighbour, yet still make some noise?
The key is to be considerate to your neighbours!
Some things to keep in mind include:
- Inform neighbours in advance about any planned parties, or invite your neighbours to join the party. Remember though, if you do this, it is not a "pass" to make excessive noise.
- Minimise noise from your property by keeping the doors and windows closed.
- Reduce the noise at a reasonable hour of the evening - particularly when neighbours are sleeping later in the evening.
- Don't start noisy equipment such as lawnmowers and chainsaws early in the morning or late in the evening (wait until after 8 am or before 8 pm).
- Ensure burglar alarms cut off within 20min.
- Ensure car alarms are installed correctly and are not over-sensitive or faulty