Anyone making unreasonable or excessive noise can be fined up to $10,000. If excessive noise is not reduced to a reasonable level following the issue of an excessive noise direction the noise control officer, accompanied by a Police officer, may enter the premises and:
- Remove whatever is causing the noise
- Render the equipment inoperable
- Lock away or seal whatever is causing the noise
- Take any other steps needed to reduce the noise
You may also face a fine of up to $10,000 if you fail to comply with a direction to reduce the noise to a reasonable level.
Registering a noise complaint
This is the process for making a complaint about excessive noise:
- Call Noise Control at any time of the day or night on 0800 924 723, 24 hours a day, to make a complaint or enquiry. It is important to call when the noise is occurring, as the volume will need to be assessed
- When you make a complaint, you will be asked to provide your details and where the noise is coming from. Your details are not made known to the noisemaker but are for our records
- Noise Control Officers will investigate, assess the noise level and make sure it’s reduced if it is considered excessive under the Resource Management Act 1991
- You’ll be asked if the noise control officer can make their assessment from your property - this will enable the officer to make a more accurate assessment of the noise as it affects you
- If the noise starts again after the noise control officer has visited, contact us again and a noise control officer will revisit the address
- You will also be asked if you want any feedback on the outcome of the investigation and if so, the noise control officer will phone you directly to explain the outcome.
Persistent noise problems
If there are ongoing complaints, further action can be taken to achieve the required outcome.
This includes the issue of a formal abatement notice, issued under the Act.
Non-compliance with this notice carries severe penalties.
Immediate fines are also imposed in some cases on non-compliance with either a written direction or an abatement notice. These are called infringement fines and are $500 and $750 respectively.
What happens to equipment that has been seized?
The noise control officers may remove equipment, like stereos and amplifiers if the owners don't reduce excessive noise to a reasonable level for 72 hours after a written direction has been issued.
Any equipment taken can be reclaimed from the Waipā District Council offices in either Te Awamutu or Cambridge when the officers are satisfied that its return will not lead to resumption of noise beyond a reasonable level.
Resource Management Act 1991
The noise control provisions of the Resource Management Act 1991 are designed to:
- Protect people from unreasonable and excessive noise
- Provide effective noise control in our community
- Protect the rights of people and industry to make a reasonable level of noise
The Act points out that it is your duty, as an occupier of land, not to make noise that disturbs or annoys people by ensuring noise does not exceed a reasonable level.
Does the Act cover all types of noise?
No. There are other kinds of noise, which are specifically covered or controlled by other pieces of legislation.
- Barking Dogs are covered by the Dog Control Act 1996.
- Noisy vehicles on the road are covered by the Traffic Regulations 1976. Contact the Traffic Safety Branch of the NZ Police for further information.
- Noise within the workplace is covered by the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992. Contact the Occupational Safety and Health Service of the Department of Labour for further information.
- Noise between tenancies with the same landlord is covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 1996. Contact your landlord or the Tenancy Tribunal.