Noise control

Find out what to do about the noise in your neighbourhood.


Keeping the noise levels down

Many of our daily activities create a certain level of noise. Sometimes this can impact others, particularly our neighbours. We're all responsible for the noise we make and we need to be considerate of our neighbours.

The usual types of complaints that we deal with are:

  • stereo and party noise
  • security alarms (buildings and vehicles)
  • bars and entertainment venues
  • construction work
  • industrial activity.

Neighbourhood noise (parties, stereos, alarms etc.)

We send out a Noise Officer to assess the noise. If the officer decides it's excessive, we can issue a noise direction that means the noise maker needs to reduce the volume straight away.

Construction noise

The rules for hours of construction work are:

Days

Times

Examples

Monday to Friday

6.30am to 7.30am

Set up/prepare for work – no noisy construction

Monday to Friday

7.30am to 6.00pm

Construction work permitted

Monday to Friday

6.00pm to 8.00pm

Work can continue but no noisy construction

Saturday

7.30am to 6.00pm

Construction work permitted

Sunday & Public Holidays

At all times

No noisy construction allowed

Many people see the weekend as an opportunity to carry out construction work, but Sundays and public holidays should be avoided. This is because workers are entitled to a day of relative rest from work-life stresses.

Construction noise information sheet (PDF 169 kb)

Industrial/commercial noise

Usually noise complaints about an industrial or commercial business's usual activities will need to be monitored with a Sound Level Meter by an Environmental Health Officer. The District Plan details the noise performance standards for industrial and commercial activity across Lower Hutt.

District Plan

Other types of noise complaints

Barking dogs are dealt with by our Animal Services team.  You can make a complaint through Report a Problem.

Report a problem

Heat pumps have the potential to exceed what's considered to be a reasonable noise level and create a nuisance, particularly at night-time and when they're located close to a property boundary. Take special care when you're deciding on a location for your heat pump.

For vehicles being driven on a road, contact your local Police station or check the Police website.

What you should know before you call:

  • your name won't be given out
  • noise must be coming from a separate address to yours
  • noise rules don't apply to unplanned emergency works, like water mains breaks
  • we can investigate noise from parked cars on private property (alarms, car stereos and engine revving).

When you make a noise complaint, we'll send out a Noise Control Officer to investigate. You need to make a complaint when the noise is happening and not after the noise has stopped.

To decide if the noise is excessive, we will consider:

  • volume
  • the time of day
  • frequency
  • tone/type of noise.

A Noise Control Officer will ask the people to turn the noise down. If they don't comply, we have the right to confiscate the equipment used to make the excessive noise.

You can make a noise complaint 24/7.

To make a noise complaint:

  • Call us on 04 570 6666 or 0800 488 824. If you call after 5pm (after hours), you will need to press 1 to go through to our after hours service.
  • Report a problem online.

Note: Only try talking to the person making the noise to see if you can resolve the noise problem if it's safe to do so. If you're concerned for your safety, call us

  • If the Noise Officer finds that the noise reported is excessive, they'll issue a noise direction notice (NDN). The notice states the noise must be reduced to a reasonable level. This notice applies for up to 72 hours from the time it is issued.
  • If excessive noise starts up again within the 72 hours, contact us again and a Noise Officer will re-visit the address and reassess the noise.
  • If the noise is deemed excessive a second time within the 72 hours, the equipment may be seized.
  • Anyone making unreasonable or excessive noise can be fined up to $10,000 and where the offence is a continuing one, a further fine of up to $1,000 for each day the offence continues.

You can’t get a noise permit for parties or playing your stereo on full volume. There are some things you can do to reduce noise and be considerate of your neighbours:

  • Keep noise levels down at night.
  • Tell your neighbours if you’re planning a party or invite them.
  • Keep your music equipment inside and close doors and windows if you can.
  • If you think that noise might be a problem, keep party guests indoors and ask them to keep the noise down when entering and leaving.
  • Tell neighbours about planned work on your section that might be noisy.
  • Make sure burglar alarms cut off after 15 minutes and have to be manually reset.
  • Make sure car alarms are installed correctly and aren’t oversensitive or faulty.
  • Don’t start up noisy equipment like chainsaws early in the morning or late at night.