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Noise control

People are entitled to make a reasonable amount of noise, but if it’s excessive you can make a complaint.

Reporting a noise complaint 

If there’s excessive noise in your neighbourhood, we can send an enforcement officer out to assess it. For Tauranga noise control issues call freephone 03 687 1643 or call Council.

Your complaint will be handled by a security company contracted to the Council. This is a 24-hour service. Council's policy requires two complaints, either from separate people or the same person an hour apart, before a noise control officer is dispatched.

If the noise is too loud an enforcement officer can issue an excessive noise direction. This notice requires the noise to be reduced immediately and is effective for 72 hours. If further complaints are received and the noise level has not been reduced, an enforcement officer, accompanied by a police officer, can enter the premises and remove whatever is making the noise or make it unusable.

Report a barking dog

Noise levels

Noise can disturb or annoy some people and not others. Everyone also has the right to have excessive noise stopped or reduced, provided the noise is under human control.

If the noise being generated from your property is clearly audible from your neighbour’s boundary, it may be considered excessive. Initially, noise complaints are assessed subjectively.

Noise can come from a number of sources including alarms, stereos, or construction activity.

Noise control officers have jurisdiction under the Resource Management Act 1991 to control noise.

The Act is 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.

The City Plan stipulates permitted noise levels within defined zones. Noise monitoring is undertaken in instances where the effects of an activity are not able to be assessed subjectively, for example noise from an extraction fan on a commercial site which is creating an adverse effect on residents.

Construction noise and vibration

When there’s a lot of construction going on around Tauranga, it can result in increased noise and vibration levels.

Construction noise and vibration is common within any city. In recent years, our city has experienced an increase in development which can result in increased noise and vibration levels. Noise levels generated by construction can be very high and continuous, which can affect sleep and concentration amongst residents and those working near construction sites.

Information on construction noise limits (369kb pdf)
Information on vibration - developers (755kb pdf)
Information on vibration - general (1mb pdf)

What hours are acceptable for construction noise? 

Council uses the New Zealand Standard for construction noise to assess and control construction noise. The hours when noisy construction work is allowed depends on location and day of the week. Construction sites (not home handyman and DIY work) often have a Resource Consent that allows for different noise levels during working hours. 

Residential areas

Days Times and type of permitted noise
Monday to Friday 6:30am to 7:30am: low level noise activities permitted (arrival, preparation for work)
7:30am to 6pm: construction work permitted 
6pm - 8pm: work can continue, however the permitted noise levels during this period are lower 
After 8pm: no noisy construction is permitted
Saturday 7:30am - 6pm: construction work permitted (no activities permitted before 7:30am) 
Sunday and public holidays No noisy construction work permitted 

Commercial or industrial areas

  • Permitted at any time depending on what is nearby 
  • Not permitted at night near residential activities, hospitals, hostels, hotels, accommodation and other noise sensitive activities 
  • May also depend on resource consent conditions or permits 

Bird scarers

If used on a rural zoned site and involved in the management of primary production i.e. growing kiwifruit, bird scarers are excluded from noise limits in the city plan. Bird scarers are one of the methods used in the horticulture industry to deter birds from attacking the fruit, which seem to be most vulnerable to attack during their stage of growth during September and October. The bird scarers are normally used between dawn and dusk and normally cease use around the end of October. Tauranga City Plan rule 4E.2.2.a) details their exclusion.

Seized equipment and fines

When equipment is seized we keep it for six months. Any equipment taken by an enforcement officer can be collected from Council offices, after you have paid the release fee. The fee covers the costs of removal and storage. You need to phone Council and make an appointment to pick up any seized property to make sure that your property and the monitoring officer are available.

Before we release any seized equipment we need to verify ownership:

  • The seizure notice and a utilities bill for the address where the equipment was seized from must be presented. 
  •  Photographic ID with a name matching that on the utilities bill must also be shown.
  •  If you don't live at the property the equipment was seized from, proof of ownership, e.g. hire purchase agreement or warranty, is required.

Excessive noise fines

The seized property release fee is $235.00 or $281.00 if an abatement notice has been issued. A fine can be issued for breaching an excessive noise direction $500.00 or breach of an abatement notice $750.00.

Information about excessive noise (691kb pdf)

Excessive noise fees

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