The Resource Management Act 1991 [RMA] is the legislation that deals with noise. The Act is designed to
- Protect people from unreasonable or excessive noise
- Provide effective noise control in our community
- Protect the rights of people and industry to make a reasonable level of noise, and
- Allow the public, the local authorities and the police to work together to control noise.
Owners or occupiers of land and buildings are responsible to ensure the noise on their property does not create a nuisance for any other person.
The noise might be coming from stereos, musical instruments, alarms or machinery. This may occur at any time of the day or night.
We have environmental health officers and contractors trained as noise control (enforcement) officers. They assess whether or not noise is excessive.
How to make a complaint
You can report any excessive noise problem to the Council's customer services. It is better to report the noise when it's happening, not the next day. We have a 24/7 service, just phone 03 209 0330. All calls are strictly confidential.
When a complaint is received, a noise control officer will go to the address concerned and assess the noise. The officer will decide if the noise is reasonable or excessive. If the noise is excessive, the noise control officer may
- Issue a written direction under the RMA. This requires the noise to be reduced to an acceptable level. A written direction remains in place for up to 72 hours from the time it is issued.
- If further complaints are received after a written direction has been issued and the noise is deemed excessive, a noise control officer and the police can enter the property and remove and impound the stereo or other equipment causing the noise. If you have equipment seized, all costs have to be paid in full before the equipment can be collected.
Be a good neighbour
- Be aware of the impact of your noise on your neighbours.
- If you intend to have a party, carry out any building work or any other noisy activity on your property, talk to your neighbours first.
- Mow your lawns at reasonable times during daylight hours. It's a good idea to avoid mowing early in the morning at the weekend or on public holidays.
- Comply with any resource consent noise restrictions for commercial land development or construction work.
If the noise relates to a dog barking
Talk to the dog's owner first and politely tell them their dog's barking is disturbing you. If the problem cannot be resolved this way, contact us and our animal control officer will deal with the complaint.