Alanah Eriksen

Alanah Eriksen is the New Zealand Herald's property reporter, and assistant chief reporter.

Blame game in noisy street

Beeston Crescent residents say serial complainer is racking up noise control call-outs.

Resident Rosetta Goodfellow and her daughter Kyrah-Lee, 4, in Beeston Crescent, Manurewa. Photo /  Steven McNicholl
Resident Rosetta Goodfellow and her daughter Kyrah-Lee, 4, in Beeston Crescent, Manurewa. Photo / Steven McNicholl

Welcome to the noisiest residential street in Auckland.

Beeston Crescent in Manurewa has about 70 houses and does not back on to any main roads, but has had more noise complaints than streets around the city's largest stadiums including Eden Park, Mt Smart and Vector Arena.

In an investigation on noise control, the Herald asked the Auckland Council to reveal where the most complaints had been registered by their abatement team.

Nightclubs, karaoke bars and 24-hour takeaway shops put Queen Street at No1 on a list of the top 10 with 338 - 6.5 a week - in the year to June, but several suburban streets pushed it for the top spot.

The nightspots of Karangahape Rd and Ponsonby Rd do not feature on the list.

Beeston Cres residents say it's not all-night parties with blaring stereos that spark visits from council-contracted security firms, but harmless activities such as watching DVDs or children playing in the backyard.

They say there is a serial complainer in their midst driving up the numbers to 185 - 3.5 a week.

Rosetta Goodfellow, who lives with her partner and 4-year-old daughter, said it was not a loud street.

"We'll be talking outside or have the radio on while we're gardening and noise control will come. They just end up laughing because it's so ridiculous. They even come when there are kids outside singing gospel music."

A neighbour, Jendi Taylor, said noise control had been to her home a handful of times.

"Once they came when it was just me and my husband at home and he was asleep in the lounge so the only noise that was coming from us was his snoring."

One house on the street had a party every few weeks, she said.

"But they put a note in letterboxes to warn everyone and it's all over by 11pm as there are a lot of kids living on our road."

A neighbouring street, Wordsworth Rd, also features on the list, with 142 complaints. Resident Merlita Elisak said residents in house opposite her had big parties every few weeks which sometimes ended in brawls on the street, and they played music with loud bass every weekend.

"It's not really, really loud but when you are lying down on the pillow, you can hear 'dong dong dong' and you can't sleep."

The noise prevented her husband Kevyn from getting enough sleep before starting night shifts for Auckland Airport's bag tracing unit. The couple also had two children, aged 8 and 9, who needed sleep for school.

They often called noise control but were told the music was not excessive enough, Mrs Elisak said.

In 2010, the Herald asked councils to name the loudest streets for the year to March 2010.

Luke St in Otahuhu was second behind Queen St with 198 complaints, and features again on this year's list with 115 complaints.

It was revealed that most were from one household about another.

Troy Nathan, who had lived in his Housing NZ flat with his 8-year-old daughter for about five years, said 88 complaints have been made against him in 18 months for a variety of reasons including parties, washing his dishes or even watching television.

The complaints appear to have been made by a neighbour.

Shut that racket

Noisiest streets by number of complaints

1. Queen St, Auckland city - 338
2. Beeston Cres, Manurewa - 185
3. Panama Rd, Mt Wellington - 163
4. Valley Rd, Titirangi - 152
5. Great North Rd, Grey Lynn - 151
6. Wordsworth Rd, Clendon - 142
7. Evandale St, Glen Innes - 136
8. Great South Rd - 136
9. Maybury St, Point England - 133
10. Luke St, Otahuhu - 115

How to complain

* Aucklanders fed up by their neighbours' noise can call the council on the 24-hour helpline (09) 301-0101. The noise must still be occurring when the call is made.
* A noise control officer is sent out to investigate and in some cases monitoring equipment is used to determine if the noise is excessive.
* A notice may be issued asking the occupants to reduce the noise. It is enforced for up to 72 hours and failure to obey can result in equipment seizure or a fine of up to $10,000.
* The noise maker is not told who has complained.

- NZ Herald

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