The Lumbercube noise saga has cost ratepayers more than $50,000 so far - with the Rotorua Lakes Council paying a security firm more than $22,000 for after-hours noise responses.

Reacting to a Rotorua Daily Post request under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act, the council confirmed it had incurred costs of $22,338 to Watchdog Security for after-hour noise responses. It comes on top of the purchase of a $30,000 portable all-weather noise measurement system which the council hoped would better monitor noise coming from the mill.

Responding to the request, the council said it was unable to give a figure for staff time involved in Lumbercube noise monitoring

It also refused to release other information including the number of times it carried out noise monitoring, decibel readings and the number of times it had exceeded limits - saying that was the subject of an investigation under the Resource Management Act 1991.

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Council chief executive Geoff Williams said a range of costs had been incurred by the council's regulatory team as it had worked to evaluate the noise generated by Lumbercube, understand the impact it was having on residential areas and work on a noise management plan.

"The cost of this work we consider to be part of council undertaking its regulatory responsibilities. Finding a solution to the concerns expressed by residents in the eastern area has been complex and extremely challenging for all concerned. We remain committed to the achievement of a positive outcome and see that the progress made to date would not have been possible in the absence of a considerable dedicated effort."

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