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Noise ControlMana Tiaki Turituri

We all like to have a good time, but we need to think of our neighbours as well to ensure that our good times to encroach on theirs. Here are some tips to manage any issues and how to contact us if you have a problem.

Noise Complaints

We respond to complaints about unreasonable or excessive noise in the community and take action when the noise unreasonably interferes with your peace, comfort and convenience.

If at any time you are disturbed by excessive or unreasonable noise, call the Environmental Health Office at the Central Hawke's Bay District Council (24hrs). A noise control officer will assess the noise leaving the property concerned and if it is deemed to be excessive or unreasonable the noise level will be required to be reduced.

This does not, however, include noise from vehicles unless they are on private property.

Your Responsibilities

Under the Act, 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.

Having Problems With Noise?

If you have a noisy neighbour, try talking to them first. If the problem persists, phone the Central Hawke's Bay District Council on +06 857 8060. The Noise Control service is available 24 hours and an officer will respond to excessive noise (such as music) at the time of the complaint.

Noise Complaints

Noise Complaints Fees and Charges approved for 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020.

All fees and charges are inclusive of GST (except as noted *).

Noise Complaints Fee (incl GST)
Note: Pursuant to Section 36(1) and 36(3) of the Resource Management Act 1991, Council may require the person who is liable to pay one or more of the below charges, to also pay an additional charge to recover actual and reasonable costs in respect of the matter concerned.
Noise Complaints
Seizure charge for noise emission equipment$200.00 
Abatement Notice Fee$60.00 

There are situations where we cannot help as the type of noise is specifically covered or controlled by other legislation. The most common situations include:

  • Barking dogs - Dog Control Act, contact Animal Control Officer
  • Noisy vehicles on the road - Traffic Regulations, contact NZ Police
  • Noise within the workplace - Health and Safety in Employment Act, contact OSH
  • Noise between tenants with the same landlord - Residential Tenancies Act, contact your landlord

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, road repairs etc. While such noise may be a nuisance to you temporarily, provided the hours of operation are reasonable, we may not respond to such complaints.

Unreasonable Noise

There are certain noisy activities in our community that we cannot reduce or abate immediately. This is generally industrial or commercial noise. 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

Excessive noise is under human control and defined as noise being of "such a nature as to unreasonably interfere with the peace, comfort and convenience" of any person. Loud party and stereo noise and noise from licensed premises are the most common source of complaints. Assessment of the noise is subjective and noise measurements do not need to be taken. If noise is excessive the Noise Control Officer will issue a noise abatement notice requiring that the noise be reduced to a reasonable level. This remains in force for 72 hours. If the noise is not reduced the Noise Control Officer, with Police assistance, may enter the premises and seize and impound the equipment or take away any working parts or lock or seal it to make it inoperable. Where deemed necessary the equipment can be disposed of.

If you are planning a party, be considerate of your neighbours and the community and take a few simple steps:

  • Inform your neighbours about the event in advance
  • Ask them to phone you if the noise is too loud
  • Consider the time of your event - neighbours will be more tolerant during reasonable hours
  • Keep window and doors closed to contain the noise
  • Reduce the bass level of the music. Keep guests inside

For regular band practices choose a location where the noise will not disturb others, such as an industrial area.

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