Everyone is responsible for the noise they make. We need to ensure that the noise we make does not exceed a reasonable level that disturbs or annoys people day or night.
Excessive noise is generally unacceptable at any time. The Council can act on excessive noise created by: We cannot act on a noise complaint caused by a car alarm. For car alarms, please contact the Police non-emergency line 105 and they will locate the owner of the vehicle. For other noise complaints, contact us on 03 941 8999 when the noise is happening (available 24 hours a day) and when talking to your neighbour does not work or you would like us to visit. We'll ask for your name so we can keep track of the issue and inform you of any updates. Your name won't be given out to others. Call us again if the noise reoccurs.
Reporting excessive noise
Excessive noise is generally unacceptable at any time. The Council can act on excessive noise created by:
We cannot act on a noise complaint caused by a car alarm. For car alarms, please contact the Police non-emergency line 105 and they will locate the owner of the vehicle.
For other noise complaints, contact us on 03 941 8999 when the noise is happening (available 24 hours a day) and when talking to your neighbour does not work or you would like us to visit.
We'll ask for your name so we can keep track of the issue and inform you of any updates. Your name won't be given out to others. Call us again if the noise reoccurs.
The Council can't help with all noise issues, as not all noise is covered by the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA).
A noise control officer will go to the address concerned and assess the noise. If noise control visits you, follow their advice and directions carefully.
They will decide if the noise is reasonable or excessive by considering:
The noise control officer may:
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:
Contact us on 03 941 8999 in the first instance should you wish to get your equipment back. 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 six months may be disposed of by the Council.
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 met. If the levels are not complying further action will be taken to gain compliance.
The Resource Management Act 1991(external link) (RMA) is designed to:
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 person. Visit the New Zealand Legislation website for the full definition.(external link)
For advice and information contact us.
Ways to reduce noise in your neighbourhood.
Usually, it's the unreasonably loud use of stereos in residential neighbourhoods that causes the most concern.
Amplified instruments or drums can be annoying for neighbours.
Every concert will have specific criteria to which they must adhere, including resource consent conditions or conditions in the City Plan.
Outdoor concerts are generally permitted providing they meet certain noise standards and specified finishing times. Noise from these events is monitored.
The City Plan defines the noise standards businesses are expected to comply with - and they can vary between zones. However excessive or unreasonable noise is generally unacceptable at any time.
If you have any concerns about noise from a business please contact us on 03 941 8999.
Busking is generally permitted in certain areas of the City providing certain conditions are adhered to. These conditions include restrictions on the length of time the busker can remain in any area.
If you feel the noise is excessive, or other conditions have been breached (e.g. length of time) contact us on 03 941 8999.
If you hear a house or building alarm:
Complaints about noise from businesses are treated differently to complaints about homes.
Complaints concerning noise from a commercial or industrial operation can be assessed by the Council's Environmental Health Officers.
If the noise exceeds the relevant levels set by the rules in the City Plan, a request will be made to reduce the noise emission to a complying level. This request can be enforced if necessary.
Noise within the work place is covered by the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992. Contact the Occupational Safety and Health Service of the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment(external link).
Often construction and demolition work is unavoidably loud, and the rules about such work allow for these higher noise levels.
Provided that the levels in the Construction Standard are met at nearby residential areas, noisy work between 7am and 6pm is generally acceptable from Monday to Saturday. Public holidays and Sundays should be quiet.
There are no standards for measuring in-ground vibration. For concerns regarding structural damage, you should contact your insurance company.
View the New Zealand Standard for construction noise (NZS6803:1999)(external link).