For the first time repeat noise offenders will be fined by the Invercargill City Council.
The Council’s Environmental Health Team Leader, Muriel Rusike, said under the Resource Management Act 1991 councils have the authority to fine people for repeated noise complaints and breaching Abatement Notices.
“Previously we only charged offenders a fee of $60 when they picked up their seized equipment. By enforcing the policy with fines we expect to see a reduction in noise control complaints from repeat offenders,” Ms Rusike said.
Excessive noise is noise that upsets the peace, comfort and convenience of people living close by. A Council Compliance Officer may proceed as follows:
- The first Excessive Noise Complaint will result in an Excessive Noise Direction being served on the occupier. This requires noise to be kept to a minimal level.
- A second Excessive Noise Complaint made within 72 hours of the Excessive Noise Direction being served will result in the seizure of the offending equipment and a $500 instant fine under Section 327 of the Resource Management Act 1991.
- If three noise complaints area made within six months that result in an Excessive Noise Direction being served each time, an Abatement Notice under Section 322(1) of the Resource Management Act 1991 will be issued. This means that the property should not receive Excessive Noise Complaints within six months of the notice being served. Breach of the Abatement Notice will result in an instant fine of $750.
- Continuation of the offence after the infringement notice will result in the matter being taken to the District Court for prosecution.
- A fee of $65 plus reasonable costs will be charged to recover seized equipment.
Ms Rusike said 419 noise complaints had been made so far this year, resulting in 240 Excessive Noise Directions. “The Council has focused on these issues and Abatement Notices are now being issued. Since the beginning of this year Abatement Notices have been issued to offending occupiers.”