Kelly Makiha is the Rotorua Daily Post's head of news

New mill noise monitor

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The new $30,000 noise measurement system.
The new $30,000 noise measurement system.

Rotorua Lakes Council has bought a $30,000 portable all-weather noise measurement system which it hopes will better monitor noise coming from the Lumbercube mill.

The technology will measure, record and analyse noise, helping the council's noise control officers better understand what eastside residents are reporting from their homes.

The microphone on the device is protected against the effects of wind, rain and perching birds, and can be mounted on a tripod.

Council chief operating officer Dave Foster said measurement integrity was important.

"We've been in touch with residents and a number of them have indicated they are happy to have the portable system on their property so we can accurately monitor the objectionable element of the noises reported from the industrial zone and more particularly from the Lumbercube mill."

Meanwhile, more than 170 residents attended a public meeting on Monday night at Lynmore School called by the Eastside Residents Action Group.

The purpose of the meeting was for people to share how the noise was affecting them, let the group know if they wanted to be involved or had any special skills that could help fix the problem.

The group also asked for donations to go towards its newly established society - Eastside Residents Association Incorporated.

Lynmore resident Stuart Burns, who attended the meeting, said those present were asked to donate $100 a family and no one objected.

Mr Burns said no one was against the mill operating.

"From all of the people there, no one was saying shut the thing down. They accept there is a need for the business and a need for the employment".

Mr Burns said people were frustrated it's taking so long to be heard despite there being more than 3000 noise complaints.

Society chairman Ra Daniels said those at the meeting decided to put a request to Lumbercube to meet with the residents.

"We are not an army of people. We are only human and why can't they just talk to us? We are trying to be respectful and orderly and trying to have a mature conversation."

He said it was the society's view the noise levels were getting louder and more consistent.

"With over 3000 complaints, do they not realise this is becoming an epidemic rate?

"We want to ask [Lumbercube] about the health issues. We have fatigue and sleep deprivation issues. This is not in someone's mind, they're not making this up. "

Deputy mayor and Lynmore resident Dave Donaldson said Rotorua Lakes Council was not asked to attend so he didn't go.

He said he had been asked to leave at the end of other meetings when the group had wanted to make decisions so he decided it was best not to go unless he was invited.

Meanwhile, Mr Foster said the council and Lumbercube were on target to meet promises that a noise mitigation plan would be finalised by May 31 and implemented by July 21.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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