Noise complaints down in 2019

Last Updated : 04 Feb 2020
noise 1

The number of noise complaints made to Auckland Council last year is down 3138 on the previous year.

A total of 57,007 noise complaints were made to the council’s Licensing and Regulatory Compliance staff in 2019, compared to 60,145 in 2018.

The council’s Team Manager Compliance Response Max Wilde says the decrease is welcomed given the population growth in the city.

“The decrease is a pleasing result,” he says.

Residential noise topped the list at 48,604, followed by complaints about construction noise, at 2542.

“If you’re planning a party, especially an outdoor party, communicate your plans to your neighbours. A little bit of consideration goes a long way.”

Some of the more 'unusual' noise complaints received in 2019 included a rattling corrugated tin fence and a piano-playing neighbour.

“Aucklanders shouldn’t expect silence in their neighbourhoods,” he says, “as some level of noise from normal activity should be expected".

If a neighbour is making “excessive” or “unreasonable” noise, the council can be called to intervene (under the Resource Management Act).

“Excessive noise is anything that is under human control that unreasonably interferes with peace, comfort and convenience.”

When the council receives a complaint, a compliance or noise control officer will visit the property and subjectively assess the level of noise. They take into consideration the time, the type of noise and where the noise is taking place.

If the noise is deemed to be excessive, a written direction (excessive noise direction) will be issued and is valid for 72 hours.

If any further complaints are received within the 72-hour period and the noise is still deemed to be excessive, then the officer will contact the police for assistance, before seizing the noise-making equipment. A non-compliance notice and $500 infringement fine may be issued.

Noise makers can also be prosecuted and convicted in court and can face a fine up to $10,000.

In 2018, a Manurewa resident was issued five infringement notices in four months – totalling $2500.

Auckland Council can investigate the following noises:

  • Industrial – factories and manufacturing
  • Commercial – bars, nightclubs, ventilation systems, collections, events, delivery and collections.
  • Construction – building sites, demolition, maintenance
  • People/Residential – stereos, parties, bands, shouting, alarms, animals, DIY, gardening
  • Events– public events, concerts
  • Mechanical noise – heat pumps, pool pumps, fans and ventilation
  • Vibration from construction activity – Excavation, pile driving.

The following noises are handled by these organisations:

  • Aircraft flyovers (but not landing or taking off) – Auckland International Airport Civil Aviation Authority (CAA)
  • Boats on the water (excludes docked boats) – Harbourmaster (AT)
  • Bus parked and idling – Bus company
  • Car mufflers and engine noise – New Zealand Transport Agency
  • Car stereo or engine noise when car is moving – Police
  • Cell phone towers – Spark, 2 Degrees, Vodafone
  • Electricity pylons – Vector Transpower
  • Fire or smoke alarms – Fire & Emergency NZ or the owner of the building
  • Motorway works – New Zealand Transport Agency
  • People drunk, violent, disorderly or offensive; domestic disputes – Police
  • Public demonstrations – Police
  • Rail maintenance or construction – KwiRail - Rail upgrade construction
  • Train and railway crossing noise – KiwiRail General Enquiry

For further information contact Auckland Council’s contact centre on 09 301 0101 or visit 

Back to News