When noise annoys - At any time of the day or night you have the right to have excessive noise stopped or reduced.
Council noise control officers will investigate, assess the noise level and ensure it is reduced if it is considered excessive under the Resource Management Act 1991.
Property owners are responsible for managing noise on their properties
While noise is a constant companion in our daily lives, we have an individual responsibility under legislation to ensure we do not create a noise nuisance for other persons.
The owners and occupiers (tenants) of land including buildings are responsible for ensuring noise caused on their property does not create a nuisance for any other person.
Council enforces the noise control laws
Council may act under the Resource Management Act 1991 to alleviate excessive noise.
The term "excessive noise" is defined by legislation
The Resource Management Act 1991 defines the term "excessive noise" as being any noise under human control which unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort, and convenience of any other person and includes noise made by any:
- Musical instrument;
- Electrical appliance;
- Machine, however powered;
- Person or group of persons;
- Explosion or vibration.
It does not include any:
- Aircraft being operated during or immediately before or after flight.
- Vehicle driven on a road.
- Train, other than when being tested (when stationary), maintained, loaded or unloaded.
Property occupiers can take action to alleviate noise
Be a good neighbour. Be mindful at all times of the impact of your noise on your neighbours.
If you are intending to hold a party, carry out any building work or any other noisy activity on your property discuss your intentions with your neighbours first.
Comply with any agreement made with your neighbour.
Ensure building and vehicle alarms are correctly installed, adjusted and regularly serviced.
Mow your lawns at reasonable times during daylight hours. Avoid early morning mowing particularly at weekends and on public holidays.
Comply with any resource consent noise restrictions for commercial land development or construction work.
You may complain about excessive noise
Although neighbourhood problems are best resolved on a face-to-face basis you may choose to report a noise problem directly to Council.
In most cases the personal approach is sufficient to remedy the problem and also promotes good neighbour relations.
Noise control officers may take action to resolve noise complaints
When a noise complaint is received noise control officers will respond to the address concerned, objectively assess the noise and initiate action if any, based on their assessment.
The test of reasonableness is applied in all cases. Where action is required the noise control officer may:
- verbally require the occupant to immediately abate the noise nuisance; or
- issue a Noise Directive under the Resource Management Act 1991. This requires the immediate cessation of the noise; or
- if the nuisance continues after a directive has been issued the noise control officer and Police may enter the property and remove and impound the stereo and/or other equipment causing the nuisance; or
- issue an Abatement Notice that is a blanket prohibition on the emission of noise from the property with no time limit.
Property owners may be billed for the cost of the noise control response action particularly where noise is an on-going problem or requires specialist assistance i.e. locksmith, alarm company etc.
How to get your confiscated equipment back
If your equipment has been seized by a Council noise control officer, you may be able to get it back.
When your equipment is seized, the Council officer will give you a seizure notice with this process, as well as an application form to have your equipment returned.
- Complete the application form and send it to:
Kaipara District Council
Private Bag 1001
- A noise control officer will contact you to arrange an appointment to discuss the seizure notice and how to get your equipment back, as well as an estimated timeframe for the process.
- If the interviewing officer is satisfied that you will not use the equipment to produce excessive noise, the process to return your equipment can begin.
- Before your equipment is returned you must pay a fee. This fee covers the cost of seizing and storing your equipment, as well as administration costs. The noise control office will tell you how this can be paid.
- Once you have paid and presented the receipt to your interviewing officer, they will arrange the release of your equipment.
Links to more noise control information
- Resource Management Act 1991
- Resource Management Act 1991 – Meaning of excessive noise
- Resource Management Act 1991 – Duty to avoid unreasonable noise
- Resource Management Act 1991 – Duty to avoid, remedy or mitigate adverse effects
- Resource Management Act 1991 – Scope of abatement notice
- Resource Management Act 1991 – Issue and effect of excessive noise direction
- Resource Management Act 1991 – Compliance with noise direction