Noise in your neighbourhood

Everybody should expect some degree of noise in their neighbourhood from time to time. We do not regulate everyday activities such as mowing lawns, building construction and road repairs. While such noise may be a temporary nuisance to you, provided the hours of operation are reasonable, we may not necessarily respond to such complaints.

There are specific situations where noise is not covered by the Resource Management Act 1991 but controlled by other agencies. These include:

Sometimes there is noise that may be annoying but is considered reasonable. Below we have explained the categories so you can decide whether you need to ring us or perhaps wait for a while to see if the problem resolves.

Unreasonable Noise

This may be noise associated with commercial or industrial activities. It usually cannot be reduced or abated immediately without interfering with the business at hand. For example, a noisy machine cannot simply be turned off as it may affect product output, or interfere with health and safety.

Our district is divided into zones depending on their general characteristics. Each zone is allocated noise levels within which all businesses/activities must operate. For example, industrial zones are allocated higher noise limits in comparison to residential zones. These noise levels are stated in the District Plan and require monitoring with sound level equipment.

Excessive noise

This is noise created by domestic activities such as:

  • Musical instruments
  • Electrical appliances
  • Machinery, however powered
  • Person or groups of people
  • Explosion or vibration

These types of noise-producing activities can easily be reduced or stopped immediately. The vast majority of noise complaints fall into this category.

Avoiding Noise Complaints

The vast majority of noise complaints in the community involve neighbours playing loud music or having noisy parties, particularly during the night and at weekends. Fortunately, most cases can be easily remedied with a little neighbourly consideration.

If you're planning a party or like playing music loud, here are a few handy hints that may stop your neighbours becoming irritated and lodging a noise complaint:

  • Tell your neighbours you are having a party well in advance and give them some idea of what time it is likely to finish. People tend to be more tolerant if they know around what time the noise is likely to stop. You could even invite them!
  • Keep your music equipment inside and keep doors and windows closed. Ask your guests to keep their noise down when entering and leaving your home.
  • If you want to enjoy your garden with the radio or other music, keep the radio close to you and keep the level down. Don't blast the music out through open windows while you sit at the bottom of your garden!
  • Check in with your neighbours before band practice especially in residential areas. Keep the sessions short and restrict them to daylight hours.