Noise complaints rise after students return

By Timothy Brown

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

Students are back in Dunedin, and it seems they are bringing noise with them.

The Dunedin City Council received 382 noise complaints last month, the highest number in a single month since February 2010.

About half of those complaints were from Dunedin North, a quarter from the central city and about 20 percent from the southern city area.

Council environmental health team leader Ros MacGill said it was usual for the council to receive an influx of complaints when students arrived back in town for the year.

"When you get 21,000 students coming back into the city and having a good time, you are going to get a few complaints," she said.

If noise was heard from a house's boundary when visited by noise control officers, an excessive noise direction could be issued and if officers had to return within 72 hours the offending property could be seized.

Last month's complaints led to 134 excessive noise directions being issued and 14 seizures.

People could have their property returned by asking for it and paying an $84 fine.

Ms MacGill said students were not to blame for all the complaints, but their arrival coincided with an increase in parties - student-organised or otherwise.

She also believed the warmer weather last month might have contributed to the spike in complaints.

"Things have stalled markedly ... "

In the past, Orientation Week events at Forsyth Barr Stadium had attracted complaints.

However, there had not been "an excessive number related to that" this year.

Between 90 percent and 95 percent of complaints stemmed from loud music at a residential address, Ms MacGill said.

Her advice for anyone organising a party was to "let your neighbours know you are intending on having a party and let them know when you intend on finishing and give them contact details to call".

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