Noise control

Waimakariri District Council helps protect the ambience of the district for residents by controlling unreasonable and excessive noise.

A 'round-the-clock' noise control service is available and you can find information here about what constitutes excessive noise and how to contact us if there’s a problem in your area.

It's everyone's responsibility to keep noise to an acceptable level. Under the Resource Management Act 1991, the Council has the power to control excessive or unreasonable noise. We provide a 24-hour, 7-day noise control service in response to complaints - phone the Council on 03 311 8900.

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. Examples of excessive noise might include a loud party, stereo, band practice, audible alarm or machinery. There is no one set level for noise that is reasonable. This may vary according to the location of neighbours, time of day, where you live/work, presence of sound barriers and type of noise.

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 03 311 8900
  • Keep calling until the noise problem is resolved
  • We'll send out a noise control officer to assess the complaint
  • If we find people are creating excessive noise, we'll 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)
  • If further excessive noise complaints are received, we may seize and impound stereos or any other offending equipment, or take other steps to reduce the noise.

Avoid noise problems – be a good neighbour

Noise problems can often be avoided with a little consideration for your neighbours. There is no permit that allows you to make a noise, but there are a few simple things you should keep in mind:

  • Ensure burglar alarms cut off after 15 minutes
  • Tell neighbours in advance if you're having a party (or invite them along)
  • Advise neighbours of any planned works on your property that may be noisy
  • Ensure car alarms are installed correctly and aren't over-sensitive or faulty
  • Minimise noise travelling from your property by closing doors or windows
  • Turn down loud noise at a reasonable hour at night
  • Turn down your bass and sub-woofers as this sound travels and is the main cause of complaint
  • Don't start up noisy equipment early in the mornings or late in the evenings.

Noise from commercial or industrial activity

Loud noise that comes from commercial or industrial activity may be considered unreasonable based on a number of set criteria. This type of noise is usually assessed by using a noise meter. The noise level and its characteristics are assessed against existing standards.

For help assessing unreasonable noise, please contact one of our Environmental Health Officers on 03 311 8900.

Other noise sources

Some noise sources, such as aircraft, vehicles and trains, are not covered by the Resource Management Act 1991, and we have no legislative powers to handle these types of complaints.