Council to take tougher stance on noise control offenders

Wednesday 19 December 2012, 3:43PM

By Invercargill City Council



An increasing number of noise control offences has prompted the Invercargill City Council to review its Noise Control Policy and take a firmer stance on repeat offenders.

Invercargill City Council Environmental Health Manager John Youngson said Council was embarking on a public education radio campaign in December and January to make people aware of not only how to address noise control issues in their street but also to remind people to be considerate of their neighbours.

“And then from February onwards Council will be taking a tougher stance on repeat offenders because they do cost Council and ratepayers,” Mr Youngson said.

Mr Youngson said although the population of the city had been relatively stable, there had been a significant increase in noise complaints over the past five years, resulting in an increasing cost to ratepayers.

“Due to the increase in noise complaints, and repeated offenders, the Council has decided to take firmer action against noise makers that cause a statutory nuisance – this will take place from 2013 onwards.

“We have reviewed our Noise Control Policy and amended it to give Council more powers to deal with repeat offenders.”

Noise Control is administered by the Environmental Health Department of the Council.  Council has a duty to investigate complaints about noise being emitted from premises including noise caused by machinery or equipment.

Council has statutory responsibility under the Resource Management Act 1991 for noise control within its District and warranted staff control noise as Enforcement Officers.

Mr Youngson said Council has been proactively promoting its noise control services in past year.

“It may have led to more awareness of Council’s noise control service amongst residents but we also believe there seems to be an increase in repeat recidivist offending properties.”

Council has revised and updated all procedure and protocols for implementing the Noise Control Policy including:

  • Instigating a firmer action on repeated and recidivist offenders including zero tolerance policy to the repeat offenders.
  • Reinforcing and updating the procedures and protocols in place for noise control.
  • Developing a clear guideline for Enforcement Officers, including after hours contractors, when handling complaints.
  • Initiating greater community awareness of, and compliance with, existing noise rules and standards.

“Nobody likes to live beside noisy neighbours and if Council can be proactive about dealing with the issue then we can achieve a decrease in complaints,” Mr Youngson said.