Porirua noise complaints on rise
Noise control complaints are up nearly 20 per cent in the past year in Porirua, costing ratepayers $70,000.
In the 2011/12 financial year, there were 728 complaints to the council, mostly involving house alarms and loud music.
That number rose to 1170 in 2012/13 and went up again in the past 12 months, to 1432.
The council’s manager of environmental standards, Jim Sutton, said a reporting fault from 2011/12 meant the numbers that year were much lower than anticipated.
‘‘That was not very accurate,’’ he said. ‘‘The last two years have been more what we expect in a city our size.
‘‘I don’t think you can say the figures are increasing, but people’s tolerance might be diminishing over time. The power of stereos today is much greater.’’
Sutton said the council contracted to a security company that works in Porirua.
About 10 per cent of callouts were to unmonitored house alarms.
‘‘A person will ring us, very exasperated because the alarm has been going for hours.
‘‘If there’s no-one home, we have to get a locksmith out. What we ask is that if the alarm is not monitored [ by a security company], put a telephone number somewhere outside so the house owner can be called.’’
Sutton said no single suburb was worse than others for noise complaints, and that there was an even spread across the city. Nor was there one night of the week that was worse.
He said most residents were considerate of their neighbours, but the minority that were not could expect to get two strikes.
A notice would be served, and if another callout was made, stereo equipment could be seized.
That happened in only about 10 per cent of instances, Sutton said.
Payment was required to retrieve the equipment and if that wasn’t paid within six months, the stereo was either dumped or put on Trade Me, he said.