Report excessive noise

How to lodge a complaint

You can lodge a noise complaint at any time by contacting the Council on telephone (04) 527 2169.

The airwaves are part of our environment and the Council has officers to minimise noise pollution by enforcing excessive noise provisions of the Resource Management Act (RMA). Officers monitor noise levels of legitimate activities and check for compliance with the District Plan.

Some kinds of noise such as traffic noise and workplace noise are controlled by other organisations under other regulations and do not involve Council Officers. Complaints about traffic noise should be directed to the New Zealand Police, and complaints about workplace noise should be directed to the Department of Labour.

Refer to the Resources & Links section to submit a non-urgent noise complaint using our online form – ‘Report a Problem’ or to download our ‘Noise control information sheet‘.

CBD and commercial noise levels

In the CBD and commercial areas higher noise levels are permitted in the District Plan. Typical complaints include:

  • loud music at parties
  • house and building alarms
  • construction and industrial activity

Assessing excessive noise

Council officers consider the effect the noise is having on the complainant and take into account the time of day, background noise and duration.

Most complaints are investigated under the excessive noise provisions of the Act. Loud party and stereo noise are by far the most common complaints. When making a complaint, you will often be asked to call back in 30 minutes to verify that the noise is still occurring. This is because many noisy activities only occur for a limited time, usually less than 30 minutes.

On investigation of a complaint, if the noise is deemed excessive, a noise control officer or Police officer may direct the occupier or person responsible for causing the excessive noise to immediately reduce it to a reasonable level. The assessment required is subjective and no noise measurements have to be taken. Once a direction to reduce noise to a reasonable level has been given, no one on the premises may generate excessive noise for 72 hours.