What can we do?
Council is responsible for maintaining a service to control excessive or unreasonable noise. Most people would simply be concerned with whether or not noise amounted to a nuisance which interfered with their comfort or quiet enjoyment of their own home.
Noise is unwanted sound and can be a real problem if it interferes with normal living. If someone is unable to concentrate or if their sleep is disturbed through noise it can be a significant stress factor and lead to anxiety, as well as aggressive behaviour towards the perceived source of the noise.
We are able to issue short term notices known as Excessive Noise Directions to the people responsible for noise requiring that the problem be resolved. This is usually a simple matter of turning the volume dial on a stereo but there are other issues such as industrial or road traffic noise that are not so straight forward to solve. Excessive Noise Directions only last for 72 hours.
We are also able to issue Abatement Notices for problems that are usually more serious and over a longer time period. These last indefinitely until either we are willing to remove them or until an appeal is lodged and is decided upon by a court.
Seizure of Equipment
Where these notice procedures are ignored, we have the right to enter property and either prevent the noise or to remove the equipment.
In practice stereo equipment is the most common source of complaint and once seized the equipment is only returned as and when we are satisfied that there will be no repetition of the problem and that all its costs have been reimbursed. This can be very expensive for the owner of the equipment and costs will vary according to distance. Equipment seized from somewhere as distant as Tapanui (for example) is likely to involve costs in the order of $400.
We supply template diary forms to people suffering from noise problems and a copy of this can be downloaded and a diary kept if you have a noisy neighbour.
Out of Hours Service
We fund an out of hours service that is available 365 days of the year to respond to noise complaints. Please phone 0800 801 350. This service will respond to complaints concerning noisy parties and nuisance from noisy neighbours.
If you need to use this service please note that they will not normally contact you unless they need to do so. If you would like them to contact you direct to provide you with feedback, please ask the operator to pass the message on.
During normal office hours please contact our Regulatory Department for advice on 03 419 0200.