Changes to operating hours at the Lumbercube mill have seen another spike in noise complaints from the residents of Rotorua's east side.
From Sunday, mill owners began a night shift four days a week, from Sunday through to Thursday morning, with the mill running from 6pm to 3am. Day shifts on those days run from 5am to 4pm.
Lumbercube began operation in late September when Rotorua-based Pedersen Group bought the site after the old Tachikawa mill went into receivership.
Since opening, Rotorua Lakes Council has received more than 650 noise complaints relating to the mill's operation and mill owners have spent about $1.5 million to try to reduce the noise.
Upper Tarawera Rd resident Robyn Murphy said she and her husband could hear noise from the mill after midnight.
"Yes, they are providing jobs and have spent a lot of money on it, but at some stage you have to ask if this is a place where you want to live, this just makes it very difficult," she said.
"Tachikawa was never an issue, it was sort of like white noise, this a rumbling, tumbling, banging, constant noise. At day time it's fine, we have no issue with it, but at night time it's the only noise around," Mrs Murphy said.
The council's compliance solutions manager Neven Hill said Lumbercube was allowed to operate 24/7 under the District Plan, as was the former Tachikawa mill.
"We do know they started a night operation on Sunday because we did get noise complaints. We have yet to receive the final noise testing and peer review report from Lumbercube. They've said they will provide it when they have it." Mr Hill said from Sunday to Wednesday the council received a further 90 noise complaints.
Pedersen Group chief operating officer Gavin Hudson previously told the Rotorua Daily Post that work to reduce noise was almost complete, but a peer review of scientific testing could take one or two more weeks.
Mr Hudson said Lumbercube had no plans to operate the mill 24/7, but "the dispatch and log yard have operated 24/7 since October and will continue to do so".
Rotorua deputy mayor Dave Donaldson, who lives in Lynmore and can hear the mill from his house, said he met with members of the Eastside Residents Action Group, who set up a Facebook page to hear from locals affected.
He said a lot of complaints were coming from people on Awatea Tce, Lynmore Ave, Larcy Rd and some from Isles Rd, Warwick Drive and other areas.
"I've lived in Lynmore since 1996 and I think it's fair to say the noise at Lumbercube is a different level from the former Tachikawa mill and other industrial sites at Ngapuna," he said. "I'm sure there is a solution, but it could involve ongoing engineering work.
"Council is doing its own testing and we are waiting on noise compliance certificates to prove the mill is compliant."
Mr Donaldson said he understood some people were at the end of their tether. "They are looking to council to resolve the issue."
An action group spokesperson said they had requested a public meeting with the council next week.