Porirua noise com­plaints on rise

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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