Noise control

The Council and it's noise control contractors respond to complaints about noise in the community.

Generally action will be taken when the noise is of such nature as to unreasonably interfere with the peace, comfort and convenience of any person. Bluff and Invercargill City are divided into sub-areas (zones) depending on the general characteristics of the area and each sub-area is then allocated noise levels which provide guidelines for businesses, residential, farming and day-to-day activities. In general, industrial zones are allocated higher noise limits in comparison to residential zones.

To make a complaint about a specific noise issue contact the Council's Environmental Health Division.

Frequently Asked Questions

What law covers noise control?
Noise control comes under the provisions under the Resource Management Act 1991 which aims to protect people from unreasonable or excessive noise; provide noise control in the community; protect the rights of people and industry to make a reasonable amount of noise; and to allow the public, local authorities and Police to work together to control noise.

What is a reasonable level of noise?
Noise can disturb some people and not others. Generally the more often a noise occurs the less likely it is to be reasonable. Council enforcement officers will determine whether the noise is reasonable, unreasonable, or excessive, by considering all or some of the following factors: time of day, duration, how often the noise occurs, frequency of pitch, tonal quality, activity producing noise, purpose of the  the noise, location of the premises making the noise, type of premises making the noise, compliance with town planning rules and bylaws (a level of noise which does not exceed planning rules or bylaws is more likely to be reasonable), sound level of the noise, level of other sources of noise nearby,  potential to avoid or abate the noise

What happens in the case of 'unreasonable' or 'excessive' noise?
Excessive noise is that which seriously upsets the peace, comfort and convenience of people living close by. A Council enforcement officer or the Police will order the noise to be stopped while they are at the scene. Anyone making unreasonable noise may be given an abatement notice by the Council's enforcement officer. This requires action to be taken to reduce the noise to a reasonable level, within a defined time (not less than 7 days). An excessive noise direction prohibits any further excessive noise from the premises for 72 hours.