The Hamilton street noise control won't go near

LIBBY WILSON
Last updated 09:20 04/01/2014

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A New Year's Eve party that continued for nearly three days at a Hamilton house was so loud it shook windows in the street and drove neighbours to breaking point.

Complaints were laid about the residents of the Sefton Cr house in Chartwell, but neighbours found little relief, being passed around between noise control, the police, and Housing New Zealand.

Sefton Cr is well-known to noise control, which has previously refused to attend incidents there.

According to one resident, who was too scared to be named, it was on file that noise control officers would not go there "for health and safety reasons".

"I understand . . . but what about the health and safety of the people in this street?" she said.

A statement to the Waikato Times after similar inaction by noise control in early August 2013 confirmed noise control would not investigate complaints in Sefton Cr without police "due to a previous health and safety incident".

If police were not available, the complaint could not be investigated, Hamilton City Council environmental health manager Peter McGregor said at the time.

Noise control confirmed two complaints were received about "stereo-related noise" in Sefton Cr, the second on January 1, but the caller was told to contact the police.

But when she rang them, the police told her they would attend only at the direct request of noise control.

After that, she didn't know where to go and was at her wits' end.

The complainant said they had endured around three days of music blasting out of the garage at No 46.

"They started their party on the 31st of December, and it's still going [on the evening of January 2]. They stopped for five hours last night, and they started again at eight o'clock this morning."

Even earmuffs couldn't block out "the thumping".

The resident was worried no-one from HNZ would be able to respond over the holiday period, leaving the possibility of another four or five days of blaring music.

But yesterday - the same day the Waikato Times made inquiries - Housing New Zealand visited the house and the music has remained off since.

Area manager for the Waikato Karan Frederikson said a tenancy manager visited the property when an anonymous complaint was received yesterday.

"The property was neat and tidy and gave the tenancy manager no cause for concern. The tenant said she had relatives to stay, and apologised about the noise," she said.

"We don't tolerate antisocial behaviour and we take any complaints about it very seriously."

Waikato police district communications manager Andrew McAlley said police assisted noise control officers concerned about their safety on a call.

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They were not permitted to confiscate a stereo, but could enter a property with noise control officers who had been threatened.

They could also intervene in a dispute if requested by a landlord or owner, or in the case of problems such as bottles being thrown.

- Waikato Times

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