Construction noise in residential areas

Construction noise.

Construction is inherently noisy, but a necessary part of our city. 

Some construction activity does not generate excessive noise, and so is permitted to take place at any time. 

At other times, construction is unavoidably noisy, and must be restricted to the most reasonable times.

Council policy

The Council uses the New Zealand Standard on construction noise as a guide to assess and control construction noise in residential areas. The same residential limits also apply to any construction work that affects residential properties in the Central Area zone of the city.

Work is considered noisy if it is loud enough to unreasonably disrupt anyone's peace, comfort or convenience.

To find out how construction noise is measured, read the fact sheet:

Construction noise and the way it's measured (52KB PDF)

Check the hours that are allowed for noisy construction work and how contractors can manage work site noise.

Hours for noisy construction work

These are the times when noisy construction can be carried out in a residential area:

Monday - Friday: 6.30am - 7.30am Quiet preparation work only is permitted
  7.30am - 6pm Noisy work is permitted, but should be kept to reasonable levels
  6pm - 8pm Noisy work is permitted, but at a reduced noise level
Saturday: 7.30am - 6pm Noisy work is permitted, but should be kept to reasonable levels

Try to plan your noisy work to be least annoying to people living and working close to your work site.

If you want to do construction work outside these hours, you need to apply for an exemption.

When noisy work is not allowed

Noisy construction work is not permitted on Sundays and public holidays.

Some construction related work may be reasonable to carry out on Sundays and Public Holidays. This is work that is not deemed to create excessive noise. For example, a homeowner periodically using power tools on a small project during daytime hours.

Tips for contractors on managing noise

Make a plan

Use this checklist to help you identify where noise issues might occur on your worksite and what you can do:

Writing a construction noise management plan (57KB PDF)

Consult the neighbours

It is a good idea to consult neighbours before you begin work as it lessens their uncertainty.

It helps to appoint a contact person who can inform neighbours of the likely type of noise and when to expect it. The contact person should also pass on any concerns that neighbours may have to the contractors.

Contractors are responsible for cooperating with Council staff over any excessive noise complaints resulting from their work.

On your work site

Check this information sheet for ways to manage noisy machines or activities:

Ways to Control Noise from Construction Activities (167KB PDF)