Wayne Thompson

Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

Auckland building racket wake-up at 3am

Jack Kingi and his grandsons Harmony (front) and Jonah are losing sleep. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Jack Kingi and his grandsons Harmony (front) and Jonah are losing sleep. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Revving truck engines and hammering on steel are an unwelcome daily wake-up call for Pukekohe resident Jack Kingi from as early as 3am.

Mr Kingi lives in a residential area adjoining the South Auckland town's expanding retail centre.

He said yesterday that construction noise from a new Farmers Trading Co store site had invaded his home since October - despite his complaints to Auckland Council noise control officials.

"I made three calls this morning after the trucks came in at 4.30am sharp. The concrete pump was fully revving and the trucks bringing in the mixed concrete were lined up and coming in on a horn signal. I don't know what to do now," said the Wesley St resident, who is caregiver to his grandchildren.

"I've had no sleep and my grandchildren, 10 and 14 years old, could not go back to sleep. They go to school half-asleep and it's affecting my health too."

Mr Kingi, 70, said he heard revving trucks on the site from as early as 3am and heard hammering on steel at 6am at weekends.

"I knew it was going to be built there when I moved in two years ago but I had no idea it was going to be like this and it seems it will go on all year."

Mr Kingi said his call to the council yesterday brought a security patrol officer to the site at 7am.

"He said the noise was not too bad and I said, 'Well, if it had happened at 7am I would not have complained."'

On Friday, the council told the Herald that after Mr Kingi's complaint on March 7, noise control officers visited the site at 3.40am and found the noise was not excessive.

But after the Herald called, a staff member had visited the site to remind the construction company that if noise exceeded the permitted level, action would be taken.

A council spokeswoman said the project's resource consent did not give a start and finish time for construction. However, it would be subject to the national standard for measuring construction site noise.

Franklin Local Board chairman Andrew Baker said last night he was concerned about Mr Kingi's plight and would follow the matter up urgently.

The noise problems of this resident of a rural town are shared by people living in the Auckland CBD.

Writing in the CBD Community E-News, Rio Rossellini said: "This morning I was woken at 3, 5, 5.15, 5.30 and 5.45am. It's becoming impossible to sleep in the CBD."

Miss Rossellini said she lived in a heritage apartment building which had single-glazed windows which could not be upgraded.

"Whether it's the chap merrily whisking his leaf blower from side to side off the pavements at 6am, or the manic driver in his 'green' machine whizzing around in circles at the intersections, a full night's sleep is a rarity thanks to Auckland Council.

"My only option is to pay out $1000 I don't possess to install noise-reducing heavy drapes which would reduce my home to a dark, Hobbit-style hole."

Auckland CBD Residents' Advisory Group chairman-secretary Tim Coffey, a CBD resident for 29 years, said that middle-of-the-night noise including leaf-blowing and water blasting around apartments was becoming too common.

- NZ Herald

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