Horror maze fails in quietness quest
The owner of Prebbleton's horror maze is in limbo after a failed last-ditch attempt t to comply with noise regulations.
Doug Middlemiss, who runs the maze with his partner Ali Kyme, invited the Selwyn District Council and the maze's sound contractors to take readings on Saturday night as the attraction reopened.
After the maze was served an abatement notice for being too noisy, Middlemiss understood that if the maze was under the noise limit this weekend, they would be able to complete their 12-week tenure at the Marshs Rd site.
Of the three readings taken, two were under and one breached the noise limit.
Middlemiss was now waiting to hear from the council to see what action would be taken.
''We wanted to be under at our three closest neighbours houses and that's what we achieved,'' he said.
''We're still hoping to be contacted open for the remaining six weeks. But until we hear from the council, we're in limbo basically.''
Middlemiss said he had created a barrier to muffle noise with portaloos and a 20-foot container, and had moved the queuing area for entry into the maze.
Despite this, they still received a visit from a security company on Saturday after a neighbour complained.
''Where do you start drawing the line? Yes we're above but no matter where you go in Christchurch, you can go outside and you hear a lot of noise.''
Selwyn District Council's acting environmental services manager Tim Harris said the noise level was breached at the ''living zone boundary'', next to the Aberdeen subdivision where a number of the complainants lived.
Harris said he would need to sit down with Middlemiss to discuss what happened next.
''I understand that he's doing as much as he can. He's made some changes and those changes have been successful,'' he said.
Harris said the council ''can't tell them to stop'' but would have to look at other options, including possibly taking the case to the environment court, if Middlemiss wanted to stay open and didn't comply with the noise limit.
''We're trying to be flexible. In the face of that it's difficult to see how much more flexible we can be.
''I can understand it's a bit of fun but it might just be in the wrong location.''
Middlemiss said he did not know if the maze would stay put after it closed at the end of April.
''We are looking at options for next year, if they include that site - we haven't decided yet. But we do have options.''
- © Fairfax NZ News
Would you like to see a bike-share scheme in Christchurch?Related story: Free bikes plan for Christchurch