Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Events bump up noise complaints

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Brewers Bar managing director Glenn Meikle, who helped organise the One Love Festival.
Brewers Bar managing director Glenn Meikle, who helped organise the One Love Festival.

The number of noise complaints investigated by Tauranga City Council in the first three months of this year almost matches the entire number of complaints for all of 2015.

Figures released to the Bay of Plenty Times under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 show from January this year to March 20, environmental monitoring officers investigated 12 complaints around the city which needed further action.

In 2015, the council investigated a total of 13 for the year.

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General manager for the council's chief executive's office, Kirsty Downey, said in a written response she would not reveal the nature of the complaints or where they had come from to "protect the privacy of natural persons".

In February, the One Love Festival held at Wharepai Domain on Waitangi weekend was the subject of 163 initial complaints about noise. Most of which came from Brookfield and Pillans Point. Avenues resident Ian Stevenson was one of the complainants and said, at the time, the music event was so loud that he could not hear his TV even with the doors shut, and he could feel low-frequency vibrations. "It was certainly not minor, it was significant."

The event was worth an estimated $4.6 million to the city's economy and followed a similar event held at ASB Baypark Stadium a month prior, which received more than 40 noise complaints.

Both events sparked investigations but were not found at fault, as they had mostly adhered to their permit conditions.

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Glenn Meikle, who was in charge of One Love's resource consents, said events were important to a city and the One Love team were especially mindful of the level of noise.

"We hire an acoustic engineer. He tells us where to put things to minimise excessive noise," Mr Meikle said. "You have to otherwise you won't have an event next time."

He said they were constantly monitoring the level of noise coming from the event and it was unfortunate that wind blew a lot of the noise into some surrounding suburbs. He guessed many of the complaints probably came from people who did not realise the event would finish before 10pm.

Mr Meikle would not rule out whether they would move the event to another city, following the level of noise complaints it received.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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