We respond to noise complaints and take action when noise is excessive or unreasonable. We don't regulate everyday activities such as:
These sorts of noise might be a nuisance to you temporarily, but as long as the hours of operation are reasonable, we may not respond to such complaints.
If you have a noisy neighbour, try talking to them first. If you can’t resolve the problem, phone us on 03 543 8400.
We are available 24 hours a day and an officer will respond to excessive noise (such as music) at the time of the complaint.
Generally, you should keep noise down as much as possible.
The level of noise that will be acceptable will vary according to location of neighbours, the time of day, the duration, the frequency of the disturbance, and the type of noise. For example, the same noise levels that are acceptable during the day may not be acceptable at night.
We ask that you:
Firstly we recommend you talk to your neighbour to let them know that the noise is disturbing you, as they might not realise they are causing a problem.
You might be able to agree a compromise, for example – music being lowered in volume or only played at certain times of the day.
If a friendly neighbourly chat does not solve the issue, you can make a complaint to the Council about excessive noise at any time of day or night.
If possible, contact the Council when the noise is occurring, and if available, a noise control officer will visit to assess the noise.
Excessive noise is legally defined as
…”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” .
Examples of excessive noise may include a loud party, stereo bass, band practices, burglar alarm or machinery.
If a Noise Control Officer is called out to investigate the noise they will listen to the noise to determine if it is unreasonable or excessive.
If talking with your neighbour does not work and you would like someone to visit, call us and report the problem at the time the noise is happening.
It's helpful if you can tell us:
A noise control officer will investigate and make an assessment of whether the noise is reasonable or excessive. Noise control officers generally make a subjective judgement and dont use noise meters for residential noise complaints. If the noise is deemed to be excessive, an Excessive Noise Direction will be issued which requires the noise to cease or reduce to an acceptable level. This notice remains in force for up to 72 hours.
Should the noise problem reoccur after the noise control officer has made an initial visit, you will need to call us immediately to lodge a further complaint. Make sure you let us know that you have previously called about this.
If excessive noise is not reduced to a reasonable level straight away or reoccurs within 72 hours of a notice being issued, the noise control officer may enter the premises with a police officer and seize the noise-making equipment or render the equipment inoperable.
An infringement fine of $500 for not complying with an Excessive Noise Direction may be served as an alternative to seizure of equipment. A conviction in court can bring a fine of up to $10,000.
The noise control officer will not disclose your details to the noise maker.
Your details are only required by Council in order for us to contact you and to monitor ongoing noise problems. Anonymous complaints will not be investigated.
If a Noise Control officer is called out (at any time of the day or night), and the noise is deemed to be excessive, a Noise Control Officer may serve an Excessive Noise Direction.
This requires the noisemaker to reduce the noise to a reasonable level and this remains in force for 72 hours.
Failure to comply and stop the noise can result in the equipment being seized or an infringement fine of $500.
If a history of noise issues has been established, the Council has a further option to serve an Abatement Notice.
This is more permanent solution to the problem. If an Abatement Notice is breached, equipment can be seized without warning or a $750 infringement fine imposed.
If equipment is seized it there is a cost for the seizure and a weekly storage charge.
The equipment will be returned only if we're satisfied that it will not be used to create further noise problems.
To ensure that the equipment is returned to the rightful owners, proof of identity and the original copy of the seizure notice will need to be produced.
Unclaimed or unreturned seized items will be disposed of after six months.
You are strongly advised to keep a diary of when you are affected as the noise control officer may arrive after the noise has stopped.
This is particularly important if the noise problem is intermittent or occasional.
This will be of great assistance for the noise control officer to be able to assess if you are being unreasonably disturbed.
If noise from a commercial or industrial premises is disturbing your enjoyment of your property the level of noise may require further investigation to determine if it meets District Plan standards.
In this case it's unlikely the noise will be reduced immediately as the noise would need to be invetigated and monitored.
Contact an Environmental Health Officer by phone on 03 543 8400 or use an online option.
The Resource Management Act specifically excludes noise emitted from aircraft during or immediately before or after flight from the definition of “excessive noise”. Therefore this is not an issue Council can take action over.
However, the Civil Aviation Authority may be able to assist if the concerns relate to “low flying” rather than taking off or landing.
Noise nuisance from barking dogs is investigated by Animal Control officers. Phone us on 03 5438400.
Bird scaring devices are permitted to be used in the Rural Zone areas of the Tasman District in compliance with the Code of Practice to make sure they do not become a nuisance. If you operate a Bird Scarer you must ensure you read and comply with the Code.
Bird Scaring devices are sometimes used in the rural zone to protect crops. They emit loud bangs or noises to scare birds, but can also annoy neighbours. There is a Code of Practice on the placement and use of Bird Scaring Devices on rural zoned properties which aims to minimise the impact of their use on neighbouring properties.
Bird scaring devices may be operated in any area of the Tasman District zoned Rural, but not within:
No bird scaring device shall operate:
If you are experiencing noise problems from a bird scarer operating outside of the Code please contact Environmental Health on 03 5438400.
There is a code of practice for the recreational use of motorbikes on rural land.
If someone is riding outside of the code of practice you can make a complaint to the Council and we will investigate it. We may ask you to keep written records of the dates and times that someone rides to help assess compliance with the code.
The code has limits on the number of bikes, hours of riding and duration.
If you ride motorbikes please read the code and ensure you are complying with it.
The purpose of the code is to allow riding with some limitations, whilst minimising disturbance to neighbours. It contains controls on the time of day, duration and frequency of riding.
If you ride motorbikes on rural land you should read the code and ensure you are complying with the rules around what times you ride, and how often.
If you are being disturbed by noise from motorbikes, you should keep a note of the dates and times of riding to help us assess whether someone is riding outside of the limits in the code of practice. If they are you can make a complaint to the Council and we will investigate it.
To make a complaint about noise from motorbikes, please contact Environmental Health on 03 5438400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, contact us using our online form.