Excessive noise is any noise under human control that unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort and convenience of other people. If you want to make a noise complaint, please contact Council on 0800 111 323 (24 hours)
Deciding whether noise is excessive is up to the judgement of the Noise Control Officer.
What is "excessive" can change depending on the time of day and other circumstances. For example, mowing the lawns at 3pm, but not at midnight. Some noises can be excessive at any time of the day.
Noise may be excessive for a number of reasons. For example:
• A noise stops someone going to sleep or wakes them up at night
• During the daytime, a noise is seriously intrusive to work and concentration
• A noise prevents normal conversation in a neighbouring property
• A noise requires radio or television to be turned up significantly in order to be heard.
On-going problems with neighbour's noise
It is important to advise the Council at the time the noise is happening so that it can be assessed by the Noise Control Officer and appropriate action taken. Action may include issuing an Excessive Noise Direction or an Abatement Notice, or seizure of the offending equipment.
What is an Excessive Noise Direction?
An Excessive Noise Direction (END) is a notice served by a Noise Control Officer if upon investigation of a complaint, confirms that the noise is excessive.
The noise must be immediately reduced to a reasonable level. The END is in place for 72 hours. If the Council receives more justified complaints of excessive noise within 72 hours, the Noise Control Officer and the Police will seize the noise-offending equipment. Additionally, the person receiving the END may be liable for a fine of $500.
Properties issued with a number of Excessive Noise Direction notices will be monitored by the Council and possibly receive an abatement notice.
What is an Abatement Notice?
Where an Abatement Notice is in force, noise-making equipment in the house may be seized without the need for an Excessive Noise Direction to be served and may be liable for a fine of $750. Generally an abatement notice will be issued for 90 days requiring you to keep noise to a reasonable level this period may be increased for each subsequent abatement notice.
There are several ways to pay fines. You can post, Online Banking, or come in person to any one of our eight locations throughout the district. See below for more details.
|Stereo Seizure Return Fee (if approved)||$200.00|
|Stereo Seizure Return Fee Second Offence (if approved)||$550.00|
|Breach of END Notice||$500.00|
|Breach of Abatement Notice||$750.00|
Being mindful of others
The Council asks that you to be mindful of your neighbours and refrain from making excessive noise that exceeds your property boundaries.
The Council wants to generate vibrancy in South Taranaki through entertainment and events but also encourages artists to be conscious of other people using our city's shared spaces. This should minimise calls to noise control.
Here are some things you can do to reduce the effect of noise:
- Inform your neighbours in advance about a party.
- Minimise noise travelling from your property by keeping doors and windows closed.
- Be aware of the direction your stereo speakers are facing.
- Ensure your burglar alarm will cut off after 15 minutes or a contact number is visible on the property.
- Lower the noise at a reasonable hour at night.
- Ensure your car alarms are installed correctly and are not over-sensitive or faulty.
- Avoid using noisy equipment, such as chainsaws, in the early morning or late in the evenings, or advise your neighbours if you are considering doing this work.
- Consider sound-proofing music practice rooms and let your neighbours know when your band is getting together.
Any equipment taken by an enforcement officer can be reclaimed from the Council offices upon payment (see fees above), which covers the costs of removal and storage.
Not all noise falls within the jurisdiction of Council's noise control service. Some noise is covered by other legislation or agencies such as:
Noisy vehicles driven on roads
- Traffic Regulations - make a complaint to NZ Police
Aircraft during flight and trains travelling along rail corridors
- Exempt from the Resource Management Act
Short term domestic activities such as lawn-mowing. In the rural area, normal farming practices including harvesting and spraying.
Further details are in Section 11: Noise Rules of the South Taranaki District Plan.