- Noise must be coming from a separate address to yours.
- Noise between tenancies with the same landlord is covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 1996.
- Certain levels of construction noise are allowed during the day.
- A construction site may also have a resource consent for different noise limits or working times.
- Noise rules don't apply to unplanned emergency works, such as water mains breaks.
- We do not monitor noise from moving vehicles (aircraft, boats, trains and cars)
Under the Resource Management Act 1991 and the Kaikōura District Plan, the Kaikōura District Council has the power to control excessive or unreasonable noise and helps protect the ambience of the district for residents by controlling unreasonable and excessive noise.
Excessive noise – what is it?
Excessive noise is 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. Visit the New Zealand Legislation website for the full definition.
There is no one set level for noise that is acceptable. The level of noise that is acceptable varies according to location of neighbours, time of day, zone you live/work in, presence of sound barriers and the type of noise. The same noise levels during the day may not be acceptable at night.
The Kaikōura District Plan sets noise levels across the District. The levels are generally lower for the night time and also depend on the zoning of the land. Business zone levels are generally higher than other zones. Once you know what zone you are in you can see the noise levels acceptable under "Performance Standards - Noise".
- Residential Zones
- Settlement Zones
- Business Zones
- Marine Facilities Zone
- Rural Zone
- Kaikōura Peninsula Tourism Zone
- Ocean Ridge Comprehensive Living Zone
How to report a noise problem, and what happens?
- Report the excessive noise while it's happening. You can do this by calling the Council on 03 319 5026 and following the options offered.
- A noise control officer will assess the complaint.
They will decide if the noise is reasonable or excessive by considering: volume, time, reason for the noise, whether or not the noise has a particular tonal character and how often it occurs and for how long.
- If they find people are creating excessive noise, they will issue a verbal or written notice (this notice is valid for 72 hours) to reduce the noise to a reasonable level (most people will cease excessive noise at this stage)
In the case of people noise, the officer can require the noise to be reduced but if there is anti-social behaviour the police should be called.
- If further excessive noise complaints are received within the 72 hours and the noise is deemed excessive, a noise control officer and the police may enter the property and:
- Remove whatever is making the noise
- Take away working parts.
- Lock up or seal off the object making the noise or take any other steps needed to reduce the noise
- If seizure is not possible a notice of Non-Compliance with Direction to Abate Excessive Noise is issued, and prosecution may result. Fines may apply.
Rules about excessive noise
The Council can't help with all noise issues, as not all noise is covered by the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).
Are noise complaints confidential?
Yes; the noise maker is not advised as to who has complained. Your details are only required by the council in order for us to monitor ongoing noise problems.
Radios, televisions and stereos
Usually, it's the unreasonably loud use of stereos in residential neighbourhoods that causes the most concern.
- Keep the volume down, especially late at night.
- Keep the bass control low, deep bass sound travels easily.
- Use headphones.
- Play music inside with windows and doors closed.
- Let neighbours know beforehand, and stick to any agreed finish time.
- Control the music level and move everyone inside after 10pm.
- Remind guests to leave quietly.
Amplified instruments or drums can be annoying for neighbours.
- Schedule practice times to avoid the early morning or late evening.
- Keep the volume low and don’t go on too long.
- Liaise with neighbours to agree on suitable practice times.
- Practicing in a residential area is possible if you're in a room with sound insulation. If not, try to find a non-residential space to practice in (i.e. in a commercial/industrial zone).
Every concert will have specific criteria to which they must adhere, including resource consent conditions or conditions in the City Plan.
Outdoor concerts are generally permitted providing they meet certain noise standards and specified finishing times. Noise from these events is monitored.
The City Plan defines the noise standards businesses are expected to comply with - and they can vary between zones. However excessive or unreasonable noise is generally unacceptable at any time.
If you have any concerns about noise from a business please contact us on 03 319 5026
Busking is generally permitted in certain areas of the City providing certain conditions are adhered to. These conditions include restrictions on the length of time the busker can remain in any area.
If you feel the noise is excessive, or other conditions have been breached (e.g. length of time) contact us on 03 3195026
Gardening and DIY work
- Use noisy power tools at a reasonable time of day. Between 7am to 8pm Monday to Saturday, and 10am to 8pm on Sundays.
- Let neighbours know if you intend to carry out significant amounts of noisy work.
- There are no set times for mowing your lawn.
- Lawn mowing noise is generally acceptable during day time hours, but should not be carried out prior to 7am or after 10pm.
- Choose an alarm that automatically resets itself after a limited period of time.
- Consider having your system monitored.
- Maintain the alarm regularly.
- Provide your contact details to neighbours.
If you hear a house or building alarm:
- If there is any sign of forced entry or intruders is evident, contact the Police on 111.
- If you need to alert the Police to a non-urgent event that needs to be investigated - they will ask you the appropriate questions and make their determinations for action.
- Check around neighbours for a keyholder.
- Check if details of alarm, company, or keyholder are displayed on the property.
- Contact us on 03 319 5026. We will require a street address and any information that can help us locate a keyholder.
Cars and motorcycles
- Only use your horn in emergencies, and keep your car stereo to a reasonable level.
- Excessive engine revving or prolonged idling should be avoided.
- When repairing vehicles, follow the above advice about the timing of DIY work.
- Noisy vehicles on the road are dealt with by the New Zealand Police.
- Barking dogs are covered by the Dog Control Act 1996, contact the Christchurch City Council Animal Management unit on 03 941 8999.
- Report a barking dog
- Roosters are not suitable for keeping in residential areas and are best confined to rural areas, as their crowing is nearly impossible to control.
If your equipment is seized by a Noise Control Officer it will be delivered to a secure lock-up. The equipment will be returned to its owner if the Council is satisfied that it will not be used to create further noise problems.
- Telephone the council to find out where to collect your goods and how much money is owed.
- You will need to pay for the cost of call-outs, storage and delivery.
- Payment must be in cash or by EFTPOS; credit cards not accepted.
- When you collect your equipment please bring proof of identity and the original copy of the seizure notice.
Contact the Environmental Health Officer for your area, who will discuss the problem with you and investigate your allegation.