Services

Noise Control

Noise is an inevitable part of living in a community. But with just a little consideration and communication, noise can be managed so we can all live together peacefully.

The Council is able to step in when noise being generated by some members of the community is excessive and causing a disturbance to others.

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 are noise from a loud party (people noise), stereos, band practices, burglar alarms or machinery.

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.

Topics covered here are listed below. Simply click on a title to take you directly to a section:

Being a good neighbour

If you're making noise for any reason, such as having a party, playing your stereo or using a skill-saw, please:

  • be considerate of your neighbours
  • ensure burglar alarms cut off after 15 minutes
  • ensure car alarms are installed correctly, and are not over-sensitive or faulty
  • inform neighbours in advance about a party, or invite your neighbours to it
  • advise neighbours of planned work on your section that may be noisy
  • minimise noise travelling from your property by keeping doors or windows closed
  • reduce noise at a reasonable hour at night
  • do not use noisy equipment such as chainsaws early in the morning or late in the evening.

Noise control

How is noise controlled?

Under the Resource Management Act (1991), Kāpiti Coast District Council has the power to control excessive or unreasonable noise. The Council's Environmental Health Officers and Resource Consents Compliance Officers deal with noise issues, and also contract services to Main Security. All these people are trained Noise Control Officers under the Resource Management Act.

Noise from moving vehicles such as aircraft, boats and trains is not controlled by the Excessive Noise provisions.

How to make a complaint about excessive noise

You can complain about excessive noise at any time of the day or night, but it is important to contact us when the noise is occurring so that a Noise Control Officer can take action.

What happens when Noise Control is called out?

If a Noise Control Officer is called out to investigate the noise they will determine if the noise is reasonable and within permissible levels.

  • It may not be necessary to use monitoring equipment to determine if the noise is excessive.
  • The noise may have ceased or subsided or be deemed not excessive by the Officer.
  • If the noise is deemed to be excessive, a Noise Control Officer may give a verbal warning or serve a written direction to reduce the noise. This is in force for up to 72 hours.
  • If the noise continues, recurs or increases you will need to re-advise Main Security. A Noise Control Officer will determine if any written direction has been breached. If so, the Officer and the police will seize the equipment.
  • If seizure is not possible a notice of Non-Compliance with Direction to Abate Excessive Noise is issued, and prosecution may result. Fines of up to $10,000 may apply.

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.

Ongoing problems with noise

Further investigation or action may be required to deal effectively with some noise sources such as noise from industrial or commercial sites. If the problem is of a technical nature, an Environmental Health Officer may need to use noise monitoring equipment. In this case, time is required to fully investigate the noise and bring the issue to a conclusion.

What to do if your equipment is seized

If your equipment is seized by a Noise Control Officer it will be delivered to a secure lock-up hired by Kapiti Coast District Council. The equipment will be returned to its owner if the Council is satisfied that it will not be used to create further noise problems.

  1. Telephone the Council to find out where to collect your goods and how much money is owed.
  2. You will need to pay for the cost of call-outs, storage and delivery which will amount to over $200.00 (View seizure fines here).
  3. Payment must be in cash or by EFTPOS; cheques or credit cards not accepted.
  4. When you collect your equipment please bring proof of identity and the original copy of the seizure notice.

What to do if you feel the complaints are unjust

Contact the Environmental Health Officer for your area, who will discuss the problem with you and investigate your allegation.

Construction noise

In order for Kapiti Coast to become a great place to work and live, demolition, construction and redevelopment work needs to occur. However, this type of activity needs to be controlled by Council to ensure that the noise generated is at a reasonable level and occurs at a reasonable time.

Construction work includes the erection, installation, repair, maintenance and demolition of almost anything. It includes site preparation and earthmoving, and the use of any plant or tools.

Construction work in residential areas

If you are thinking of doing any noisy construction or demolition work in a residential area, you should note the following best practicable option practices to assist in good community relations:

  • it is important for all personnel on construction sites to maintain good relations with residents, and to respect the rights of residents to live or work nearby without being subjected to unnecessary or excessive noise
  • if possible, all noisy operations should be carried out when they would cause the least disturbance to residents. If this is unavoidable a responsible person should liaise between residents and the contractor, informing the public (e.g. by an advance flyer drop in the area) when to expect operations, as well as informing the contractor of any special needs members of the public may have
  • reduce noise emitted from the site by minimising the volume from on-site radios and stereos.

Construction work and Noise Control

Under the Resource Management Act (1991), Kāpiti Coast District Council has the power to control excessive or unreasonable noise. The Council's Environmental Health Officers and Resource Consents Compliance Officers deal with noise issues, and also contract services to Main Security. All these people are trained Noise Control Officers under the Resource Management Act.

If a Noise Control Officer is called out to investigate the noise from a construction site, they will determine if the noise is reasonable and within permissible levels, and if construction work is occurring at the permitted times. It may not be necessary to use monitoring equipment to determine whether the noise is excessive.

If the noise is deemed to be excessive a Noise Control Officer may serve a written direction to reduce noise. This is in force for up to 72 hours. Failure to obey the notice can result in equipment seizure or a fine of up to $10,000.

Permissible noise levels and times

The table below shows permitted noise levels from construction work within residential areas:

Day

Time

L 10* at any affected property

Monday - Friday

7.30am - 6.00pm

75 dBA

Monday - Friday

6.00pm - 8.00pm

70 dBA

Saturday

7.30am - 6.00pm

75 dBA

Sunday / Public Holidays

Noisy construction is not permitted

Noisy construction is not permitted

*L10 refers to a noise level which can only be exceeded for 10 percent of the time. For example, L1075 dBA means that over a 30 minute period, the noise may only go above 75 dBA for three minutes.

Contractors should check their Resource Consent for any extra conditions such as restrictions on hours of operation.

The following are examples of noise levels measured in decibels (dBA):

140 dBA Pneumatic Rock Breaker
120 dBA Compactor
110 dBA Fork Lift Truck
105 dBA 20 tonne Dump Truck
95 dBA Oxyacetylene welder
80 dBA Electric Drill (1 metre)
75 dBA Loud Radio
60 dBA Department Store

Emergency construction work

Council may grant permission for construction work to occur outside these times or levels if emergency works are necessary, or work cannot be completed during normal working hours because of public safety or traffic hazards.

If you have special permission to work outside the permitted hours it is advisable to notify residents who may be affected by noise about the times and days of operation, and give them an on-site contact telephone number.