Residents should expect some degree of noise within their neighbourhood such as music, DIY work, social gatherings and lawn mowing. While these temporary noises can be a nuisance, they are part of living within a community.
The purpose of our Noise Control Policy (refer to our Policies page) is to:
- Minimise and manage public nuisance caused by excessive noise.
- Ensure that Council’s noise control responsibilities are discharged in a manner that is fair, transparent and legally defensible.
Under the Resource Management Act 1991, you must keep noise from your property to a “reasonable” level. Although there is no clear definition of what is “reasonable”, generally noise should not disturb your neighbours or be clearly audible beyond your property boundary.
If a complaint is made about noise from your property always follow the instructions of the Noise Control Officers.
The Resource Management Act 1991
The noise control provisions under this Act are designed to:
- Protect the public from excessive or unreasonable noise
- Protect the rights of people and industry to make a reasonable amount of noise
- Set out obligations for all of us to keep noise to a reasonable level
Noise not covered by the Act
There are situations where we cannot help as the type of noise is specifically covered or is controlled by other legislation. The most common situations include:
- Barking dogs – Dog Control Act 1996, contact ICC Animal Control
- Noisy vehicles on the road –Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004, contact NZ Police
- Noise within the workplace – Health and Safety at Work Act 2015, contact WorkSafe
- Noise between tenants with the same landlord – Residential Tenancies Act 1986, contact your landlord
What should you do?
If you believe you are experiencing excessive or unreasonable noise, the best start is to talk to them first. Try to come to an agreement with your neighbour as to the timing of any work they are doing or the sound level and times music is played.
If your attempt to resolve the issue with your neighbour has not worked, phone (03) 211 1679 and our contractor will attend (available 24 hours).
There are certain noisy activities in our community that we cannot reduce or abate immediately. This noise typically involves noise from a business or industry.
Where a complaint of unreasonable noise is received by Council a full noise assessment and measurements may be carried out to determine if the noise level is in breach of any District Plan rules. If the noise is found to be unreasonable, we may serve an Abatement Notice requiring the noise to be reduced within a set period of time.
Excessive noise mean any noise that is under human control and of such a nature as to unreasonably interfere with the peace, comfort and convenience of any person (Section 326 of the Resource Management Act 1991)
Loud party and stereo noise and noise from licensed premises as the most common source of complaints.
Enforcement officers will use their professional judgement when assessing complains about excessive noise.
It is Councils intention that all complaints about excessive noise will be attended by an Enforcement officer within one hour of the Council receiving the compliant.
Further information can be found in the flow chart below and in the Noise Control Policy, found on our Policies page.
Summary of actions for Noise Complaints – See Noise Control Policy for further information.
Reclaiming Seized Equipment
If your equipment has been seized as a results of excessive noise complaints you may request the return of the equipment
- Contact ICC and request the equipment be returned
- Returning equipment will be at the discretion of the Council as we must be satisfied that its return will not lead to a resumption of the noise
- You must pay all costs incurred by the ICC for seizing, transporting and storage