RDRR’s Noise Pollution Solution
News Release: RDRR’s Noise Pollution Solution
Rotorua District Residents and Ratepayers, 17 July 2017
RDRR has suggested many amendments to Rotorua District Council’s Proposed Plan Change 4 to help improve the regulation of noise. Technological changes to Lumbercube’s wood processing and some online-managed and short-term accommodation in residential zones have disturbed the peace and affected amenity and property values.
“The PPC4 helpfully pulls together all regulations related to noise management that were once scattered through the District Plan,” said Reynold Macpherson, chair of RDRR’s Working Party, “although some regulations now need further refinement.”
“For example, while PPC4 recognises ‘reverse sensitivity,’ the policy now needs to enable re-evaluation of consents,” said Councillor Raj Kumar. “When technology changes or unexpected outcomes are the result of a lawful activity, Council needs to be able to revisit and change or cancel a resource consent.”
“The PPC4 takes a more standardised approach to noise measurement,” explained Rex Charleton. “We believe that reports on noise measures should be released as soon as commercial sensitivities end. Local advice should be taken on best data collection locations. Base-line measures should be made of background noise to make comparisons in the future.”
“It won’t be enough to just measure noise,” said David Phillips. “We also need to ensure that elected representatives work with officials to collect public views on health and amenity values to help interpret local and cultural evaluations of noise, especially those affecting the enjoyment of residential accommodation.”
The RDRR has also proposed four additional changes to improve future policy making and implementation.
1. Adopt the principles of representative democracy and the Treaty of Waitangi and define these principles as human rights of all Kiwis in Rotorua.
2. Adopt quadruple bottom-line policy making to ensure a balanced concern for people, profit, planet and progress, to achieve sustainable prosperity.
3. Adopt an action research methodology to engage elected representatives, officials and partners in policy development and in capacity building.
4. Adopt a Compliance Strategy comprising Best Practice Guidelines, an Intervention Process to be followed by Councillors and Officials, and Prosecution Guidelines that clarify legal liabilities and options available to Council.