Noise Control

Find out what is considered ‘too noisy’ and how to take action if there is a noise problem in your area.

What is excessive noise?

Excessive noise is any noise that is under human control and loud enough to unreasonably interfere with the peace, comfort and convenience of anyone living here. Examples of excessive noise might include loud music, parties, band practice, broken alarms or machinery.  

However, it doesn’t include every day activities such as lawn mowing, as long as these are carried out at a reasonable hour.

It does include Building and Demolition activities – they are required to abide by New Zealand Standard: Acoustic – Construction.

How to report a noise problem and what happens

If you have a noisy neighbour, try talking to them first. If the problem persists, phone us 24 hours on Queenstown - 03 441 0499 or Wanaka - 03 443 0024

  • Always report the excessive noise while it's happening.  Keep calling until the noise problem is resolved
  • We'll send out a noise control officer to assess the complaint 
  • If we find people are creating excessive noise, we'll issue a verbal or written notice (This notice is valid for 72 hours) to reduce the noise to a reasonable level (most people will cease excessive noise at this stage) 
  • If further excessive noise complaints are received, we may seize and impound stereos or any other offending equipment, or take other steps to reduce the noise

Avoid noise problems – be a good neighbour

Noise problems can often be avoided with a little consideration for your neighbours. There is no permit that allows you to make a noise, but there are a few simple things that are good to keep in mind:

  • Tell neighbours in advance if you're having a party (or invite them along).
  • Tell neighbours of any planned works on your property that may be noisy.
  • Ensure alarms are installed correctly and aren't over sensitive or faulty.
  • Keep doors and windows closed to contain noise from inside your house.
  • Turn down loud noise at a reasonable hour at night.
  • Don't start up noisy equipment early in the mornings or late in the evenings.
  • Be mindful that many people in this district work in hospitality and can have less sociable working hours.