At any time of the day or night you have the right to have excessive noise stopped or reduced.  Excessive noise can come from stereos, alarms, construction and industrial machinery. Under the Resource Management Act 1991, Council has the power to control excessive or unreasonable noise.
Lodging a complaint
If the noise is coming from a neighbour, we encourage you to talk to them first. They may not know that their noise is disturbing you and might remedy the situation right away. If that doesn’t work you can ring 06 306 6068 (24 hours) and report the problem while it is happening.
What do Noise Control officers do?
Noise Control officers will visit a site to determine if the noise is reasonable and within permissible levels.  If the noise is deemed to be excessive the officer will issue a notice to reduce noise, which is effective for up to 72 hours. Failure to obey the notice can result in equipment seizure or a fine.
What happens if the noise continues?
If the noise continues, please ring back to advise that the noise is still disturbing you and to find out what action has been taken by a Noise Control Officer.
Are my details confidential?
Yes, we do not tell the noisy party who complained. Your details are only required by the Council in order for them to monitor ongoing noise problems.
Ongoing problems with noise
If the noise does not stop, officers may enter the property to seize noisy equipment and issue fines for not complying with a notice to reduce noise. Industrial or commercial sites creating excessive noise may need to be monitored over time to find the problem. Noise in these cases may not cease immediately.
What if my equipment is seized?
If your equipment is seized it will be delivered to the Council offices in Martinborough. The equipment will be returned if officers are satisfied that it will not be used to create further noise problems.  To get your equipment back, bring some ID and the original seizure notice. You will need to pay cash (EFTPOS is fine) to cover the costs of the callouts and seizure before the equipment will be released.
What if I feel the complaints are unjust?
It is important to contact the Council on 06 306 9611. Officers can discuss the problem with you and investigate your allegation.
What can I do to avoid complaints?
There is no permit for a noisy party, to play your stereo on full, or to use that skill saw at midnight, but there are a few things you can do:
  • Be considerate of your neighbours
  • Ensure burglar alarms cut off after 15 minutes
  • Install car alarms correctly so they are not over sensitive or faulty
  • Inform neighbours in advance about a party, or better yet invite your neighbours
  • Advise neighbours of planned work on your section that may be noisy
  • Minimise noise travelling from your property by keeping doors or windows closed
  • Turn down the noise at 10pm
  • Don't start up chain saws or similar early in the mornings or late in the evenings.

South Wairarapa District Council