Earplugs are an advisable investment if you live on the Masterton street that’s racked up a whopping 51 noise complaints between January and mid-September.
Figures provided to the Times-Age from all three of the region’s councils document every noise complaint logged in Wairarapa and expose which streets are generating the highest hubbub.
From the start of the year to the middle of September, there were 626 total noise complaints recorded in the region.
Carterton District Council received the least complaints – just 49 – and has no streets with significant levels of noise.
South Wairarapa District Council logged 141 noise complaints, a figure that’s significantly higher than the 59 received in 2018.
Council group manager for planning and environment Russell O’Leary suggested the sharp uptick is down to changing work patterns. “We would hazard a guess that with an increase in flexible working arrangements, there may be more people working from home who are therefore more aware of loud stereos, with some playing stereos at different times of the day,” O’Leary said.
Greytown recorded 42 complaints, Martinborough 45, and Featherston a total of 50.
Over 20 per cent of Featherston’s noise complaints were for properties on Brandon St, although O’Leary said this appears proportionate to the number of properties in the area.
The most common reason for noise complaints was loud stereos and radios.
Masterton District Council [MDC] fielded 440 noise complaints during the year to mid-September.
Streets clocking up significant levels of complaints include French St with 16, Seddon St with 17, and Perry St with 20.
But by a considerable margin, the Masterton street that takes the cake for recurring din is Raglan St, which has clocked up an impressive 51 complaints.
MDC environmental services manager Terri Mulligan pointed out that repeated incidents of excessive noise could lower the tolerance of people living nearby, so any noise results in a complaint, and noted that loud music makes up the bulk of noise complaints in the district.
“It is very easy for the volume of stereos to creep up as more people arrive at parties and different people keep turning music up,” Mulligan said.
However, Raglan St residents don’t think that music is the issue in their case.
One of the Lansdowne street’s residents [who asked to stay anonymous] told the Times-Age that while it is a good street, its length and flat terrain mean it is often used as a racing strip.
“There’s often people racing down the road, they drive too fast, and there’s too much noise.”
Another resident agreed and said they aren’t surprised Raglan St has taken out the title for the region’s nosiest street.
“I just want peace and quiet,” the resident said.
“There’s a really noisy motorbike, cars doing burnouts and wheelies, they just roar down from end to end.”
The resident believes the culprits also live on the street but doesn’t know what can be done about it.
“The council can fine them I suppose, but I don’t know. It’s a real problem,” they said.
“I have been too scared to complain in case they retaliated.”
In the case of noise complaints due to loud stereos, most people comply when visited by a noise control officer and asked to turn the music down, Mulligan told the Times-Age, but if the volume is considered an Excessive Noise Direction [END] is issued.
There is no charge for the initial END unless the officer must return to the property following a further complaint because the noise is continuing.
On the second visit, they are accompanied by a police officer, and the stereo or other source of noise will be seized.
It then costs $210 to have the equipment returned, plus $105 for each visit.
In the past 12 months, MDC has issued 191 ENDs, Mulligan said, and equipment has been seized on 13 occasions.