Noise control is undertaken in accordance with the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) to prevent nuisance to the community.
Your rights and responsibilities
Everyone is responsible for the noise they make. The RMA requires every person carrying out an activity to ensure the noise does not exceed a reasonable level.
Noise is not to be of such a nature as to unreasonably interfere with the peace, comfort and convenience of any person.
You have the right to have excessive noise stopped or reduced, provided it is under human control.
The requirements under the RMA are designed to:
- protect people from excessive noise
- provide effective noise control in our community
- protect the rights of people and industry to make a reasonable level of noise.
Frequently asked questions
What is a reasonable level of noise?
Noise can disturb or annoy some people and not others. If noise being generated from your property is clearly audible from your neighbours' boundary, it may be considered excessive.
Businesses and commercial activities, including rural activities that operate within the Council area are also required to meet specified noise levels that are set in the Council's Operative District Plan. These levels differ depending on the area, and any conditions that may have been a requirement of a resource consent.
What happens if noise is deemed to be excessive?
Anyone causing excessive noise may be given a "noise direction notice" or verbally warned to desist by an enforcement officer.
If the noise is not reduced immediately, steps can be taken straight away.
An enforcement officer, accompanied by a police officer, can enter the premises and remove whatever is making the noise or render it inoperable.
What happens to the equipment which is seized?
Any equipment taken by an enforcement officer can be reclaimed from the Council offices upon payment of a fee, which covers the costs of removal and storage. See our Fees and Charges Schedule (PDF, 551KB) for details of fees.
How do I make a complaint?
Any person can make a complaint about any noise they judge to be unreasonable or excessive by phoning 07 3153030 (24 hours, 7 days) or emailing email@example.com (during normal business hours).
Your complaint will be handled by a Council officer during work hours, 8am - 5pm weekdays, and a security company contracted by Council outside these stated hours.
What about traffic and barking dogs?
Not all noise falls within the jurisdiction of Council's noise control service. Some noise is covered by other legislation or agencies such as:
Dog Control Act 1996 - make a complaint to Council by phoning 07 3153030 (24 h ours) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (during normal business hours).
Noisy vehicles driven on roads
Traffic Regulations - make a complaint to NZ Police.
Aircraft during flight and trains traveling along rail corridors
Exempt from the RMA.
Short term domestic activities such as lawn-mowing. In the rural area, normal farming practices including harvesting and spraying.
Further details can be found in the Opotiki District Plan.