The Council can't help with all noise issues, as not all noise is covered by the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).

  • Noise must be coming from a separate address to yours
  • Noise between tenancies with the same landlord is covered by the Residential Tenancies Act 1996.
  • Certain levels of construction noise are allowed during the day
  • A construction site may also have a resource consent for different noise limits or working times.
  • Noise rules don't apply to unplanned emergency works, such as water mains breaks
  • We do not monitor noise from moving vehicles (aircraft, boats, trains and cars) Environment Canterbury may be able to assist with water craft noise phone (03) 365 3828

When a complaint is received

A noise control officer will go to the address concerned and assess the noise. They will decide if the noise is reasonable or excessive by considering:

  • Volume
  • Time
  • The reason for the noise, and whether or not the noise has a particular tonal character
  • How often it occurs and for how long.

If the noise is excessive, the noise control officer may

  • Issue an Excessive Noise Direction requiring the noise to be reduced to an acceptable level
  • In the case of people noise the officer can require the noise to be reduced but if there is anti-social behaviour the police should be called.

Enforcing an Excessive Noise Direction

An Excessive Noise Direction remains in place for up to 72 hours.

If further complaints are received within this time and the noise is deemed excessive, a noise control officer and the police will enter the property and:

  • Remove whatever is making the noise
  • Take away working parts
  • Lock up or seal off the object making the noise
  • Take any other steps needed to reduce the noise.

Complaints against you

If Noise Control visit you, follow their advice and directions carefully. Seized or confiscated equipment can be reclaimed when the Council is satisfied that returning it will not lead to more excessive noise. Costs incurred in removing and storing the equipment are payable on return. Equipment is only returned to the owner and suitable proof of identity is required for this purpose. Equipment that is not reclaimed after 6 months may be disposed of by the Council.

Arrange to pick up your equipment by contacting us.

Noise is monitored and managed in many ways.

The Christchurch City Plan sets noise levels across the City. The levels are generally lower for the night time and also depend on the zoning of the land. Business zone levels  are generally higher than the living zones. Council officers can assess if the noise levels are being met. If the levels are not complying further action will be taken to gain compliance.

The Resource Management Act 1991(external link) are designed to:

  • Protect people from unreasonable and excessive noise
  • Ensure that there is no sleep disturbance during night time hours
  • Provide effective noise control in our community
  • Protect the rights of people and industry to make a reasonable level of noise.

The RMA defines the term "excessive noise" as being any noise under human control which unreasonably interferes with the peace, comfort, and convenience of any other person and includes ... this is the RMA meaning of excessive noise(external link).

For advice and information contact us.