Noise Control FAQs
Q. What is excessive noise?
A. The term excessive noise is defined in the Resource Management Act 1991 and means any noise that is under human control and of such a nature as to unreasonably interfere with the peace, comfort, and convenience of any person. This does not apply to the people who are creating the noise.
Excessive noise may include any noise emitted by any:
- Musical instrument
- Electrical appliance
- Machine, however powered
- Person or group of persons
- Explosion or vibration
Excessive noise does not include any noise emitted by any:
- Aircraft being operated during, or immediately before or after, flight
- Vehicle being driven on a road (within the meaning of section 2(1) of [the Land Transport Act 1998)
- Train, other than when being tested (when stationary), maintained, loaded, or unloaded
Q. Do noise restrictions only apply at night?
A. No. You are entitled to complain about excessive noise at any time of the day or night.
Q. What can be done about noise from the following?
- Stereo volume or bass, bands, drums, guitars
- Vehicles (stereos, revving, movements)
- Home handy person
A. Have you spoken to your neighbour? They might not be aware that they are causing a problem. These problems are often best resolved on a neighbourly basis. Generally, noise becomes less acceptable during night-time hours. Screaming, yelling or other loud/excessive human behaviours should be referred to the Police. Noise Control can not act on these complaints.
Q. What can be done about ongoing noise problems?
A. If the noise is ongoing, and you feel it is excessive,
contact our Noise Control team between 8am and 4.30pm Monday
to Friday (office hours) on email@example.com
or phone 06 871 5000.
If the noise is occurring after office hours, your complaint can be referred to Council's after-hours services by calling 06 871 5000 and lodging your complaint. Council's after-hours noise control services will investigate the noise and determine whether it is excessive and take appropriate action.
Q. How late can my neighbour mow their lawn?
A. There are no set times. Lawn mowing noise is generally acceptable during daytime hours but mowing should not be carried out before 7am.
In all situations however, those people mowing their lawns should be mindful of the noise impact on their neighbours, particularly during the later evening time.
Q. What can be done about noise from a concert?
A. Outdoor concerts are generally permitted providing they meet certain noise standards and specified finishing times. Noise from these events are monitored or evaluated by Council's Noise Control Officers.
Should the noise levels or finishing time exceed those specified in the application, Council has the right to close down the concert if the noise can not be reduced to an acceptable level.
Q. Who do I need to contact if I want to stage a concert?
A. You will need to contact the Resource Management group on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 06 871 5000. These staff are concerned with noise levels, fire safety, building safety and monitoring, sale of liquor, land use compliance, food hygiene and other issues.
Q. What can I do about a car alarm sounding?
A. If any sign of forced entry or intruders is evident, contact the Police. If it looks as though the car has not been broken into, check adjacent properties or businesses for the owner. If it is a frequent occurrence, leave a note on the windscreen, otherwise, contact the noise control 24-hour line 06 871 5000 with registration number, description and location of vehicle (these details will help us locate the keyholder).
Q. What can I do about noise from businesses in my neighbourhood?
A. There are sound levels set down in the Hastings District Plan which define the conditions a business can operate within so that they do not create unreasonable noise. Contact an Environmental Policy Planner at the Council on email@example.com or phone 06 871 5000 for more information.
Q. What time can commercial construction work start/finish?
A. There is a New Zealand Standard NZS 6803:1999, which specifies noise levels and times certain activities can be undertaken. Generally work starting between 7am to 7.30am Monday to Saturday and finishing at 6pm is acceptable providing the noise levels in the standard are met for the living zones.
Q. What time can private construction work take place?
A. Because of its nature, this work tends to occur in the evenings, at night, or at the weekends.
Keep the following start/finish times in mind if undertaking noisy work:
- Weekend starts - 7am Saturday, 9am Sunday
- Evening finishes - 9.30pm Summer, 7.30pm Winter
It is suggested that noisier activities are programmed to the most appropriate times, for example early evening, middle of the day.