Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller has joined thousands of others in petitioning the decision to recommend silencing the Pāpāmoa emergency fire siren at night and says anyone disturbed by it needs to "get some earplugs".
But the local Fire and Emergency New Zealand (Fenz) boss says sometimes there are valid reasons and no one is at risk by the proposed move.
Muller's comments come after the Bay of Plenty Times this week revealed Fenz's plans to permanently silence the Pāpāmoa volunteer brigade's siren at night after a single complaint last year.
"How can Fenz back themselves based on one single complaint that the whole brigade needs to be silenced? It's just ridiculous," Muller said.
The brigade has been trialling a silenced siren between 10pm and 6am since - relying on pagers and cellphones instead.
They will meet next month to discuss the fate of the siren but Fenz has already confirmed its recommendation to silence it at night. It would mean the siren would only be used as a third alert option.
Ngongotahā fire station was silenced last year after another single complaint.
"I get angry when I read stuff like this. Common sense is being constantly eroded by the desire to please everybody all of the time. It's the whining voices that are constantly ruining it for the rest of us," Muller said.
"The key thing from my perspective is sirens are absolutely necessary. They are a call to our tremendous volunteers to attend and our community is hugely grateful we have volunteers to keep our area safe.
"It's the price we need to pay.
"If one or two people are disturbed by it, they should get some earplugs."
Muller's view reflects thousands of others' who have expressed support for the siren on social media and through an online petition, which as of 11am yesterday had gained more than 3000 signatures.
The comments of support on Muller's own Facebook page in response to the story reached more than 10,000 in 12 hours.
"That's a lot of people. That's not likes or reach. These are people who are motivated to respond in their support."
Muller said he would write to Jan Tinetti, Minister of Internal Affairs who oversees New Zealand's firefighting sector, and seek to meet her when Parliament resumes.
"I will also write to the head of Fenz saying that I'm supportive of the community that does not require with this end outcome and I speak on behalf of the many thousands of people who support the petition."
Fenz area manager for Bay of Plenty coast Kevin Cowper said the switch to pagers and cellphones did not "in any way put the public at risk, in any shape or form".
Volunteer stations such as Ōhope had operated effectively for years without a night siren and monitoring of the brigade's callout times had also revealed no negative impact on response times, he said.
Cowper acknowledged that in some more rural or isolated parts of New Zealand there could be black spot areas in which a siren was needed because a pager or cellphone may not receive a signal "but we know about those".
"We would never remove a siren from a place like that."
Cowper said he appreciated that some people felt reassured when hearing the siren sound but that ambulances and police who also provided emergency response did not have a station siren, yet they still worked well.
When asked how Fenz could justify silencing a siren after a single complaint, despite strong community support for them, Cowper said they looked at each case and how it affected that person.
"You could say that it was just that they were annoyed but some people have very good and valid reasons why they want to silence the siren."
Cowper said Fenz would "consider all things" when deciding with the brigade whether to make the night silencing permanent.
"The organisation makes decisions about how the organisation is run. We will certainly listen to the views of our members and the community.
"It's fantastic to see the amount of support for a volunteer fire brigade. It's tremendous, heartening and what we want to see. Our brigades do a fantastic job."
Comments from people who have signed the petition, on change.org labelled the decision as "self-centred", "appalling" and "stupid". The petition was addressed to Tauranga acting mayor Tina Salisbury but Tauranga City Council does not manage fire stations or their sirens.
Salisbury said a recent visit to the brigade's awards night put things in perspective for her.
"I was impressed with the calibre of these people who not only fight fires and help save our homes and our property, they are volunteers... I think some of us should handle a little bit of inconvenience," she said.
"That siren is their calling. You can't fully depend on an app. Those sirens mean they could save a life."
Jen Dear said on the petition that no resident should be able to override the system and Dave Jump said people needed to pull their heads in and let firefighters do what they're trained to do.
Scott Sandford said: "This is ridiculous, letting one or two people dictate what is an essential service from functioning is totally absurd. I'm sure the stations were there long before they moved into the area! Don't like it, move, you have a choice!"
Feedback received by the Bay of Plenty Times from a reader who agreed with the move said the siren was a "scourge on society" and "unbearable".
Jan Tinetti was contacted for comment.