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Port Noise

Napier Port is a strategic asset that links the economic output of our region to the rest of the world. Therefore it’s important the Port is able to carry out its operations effectively while also ensuring it can co-exist successfully with the adjacent Napier Hill residential community.

Download this discussion document 


The Napier District Plan is under review and this includes  re-evaluating the rules for Port noise. As the Port is adjacent to the Napier Hill residential community it’s important that noise generated by the Port is carefully managed. The Port must adhere to noise limits set in the District Plan. The District Plan is also where we set the planning rules for the acoustic treatment of houses in certain areas to achieve a safe and comfortable internal noise environment.  The Port, Council and residents are working together through the Port Noise Liaison committee to ensure these obligations are met and that residents are not unduly affected by Port generated noise.

What is changing?

To inform the District Plan review, the Port have worked with noise experts to project their predicted noise levels out to 2035 (being the expected life of the next District Plan). Future noise contours are lines on a map that predict what level of noise is likely to be experienced at a point in time. The contours are produced using computer modelling that considers things such as the source of noise, current and future operational scenarios, and topography. The model is then calibrated with real time monitoring results. 

What are Port Noise Contours and Port Noise Boundaries?

Future noise contours identify at specific locations where particular levels of noise are likely to be experienced, out to 2035. These future contours are then used to produce ‘noise boundaries’ that follow property boundaries in the District Plan.  These noise boundaries are called either the ‘inner noise boundary’ or the ‘outer noise boundary’.  

The ‘inner noise boundary’ is where the Port is able to generate noise up to 65dBA. A noise monitor is located at this line which is used for enforcement and monitoring purposes. The ‘outer noise boundary’ identifies areas of Napier Hill that may be impacted by Port generated noise up to 55dBA. If your house falls within either the outer or inner noise boundary and you add on a new room, or build a new house on your site it will need to be built to withstand the higher noise level experienced within these boundaries. The cost for noise protection for new houses or house extensions within these boundaries is met by the landowner. This approach is consistent with the NZ Port Noise Standard.

View the new lines proposed for the Draft District Plan - Proposed Port Noise Overlay

Port funded acoustic treatment of houses

In some circumstances the Port will fund acoustic treatment of existing houses. To determine eligible houses, Port noise contours are produced annually and those existing houses that fall within a 60dBA line are considered eligible. Details of the Port obligations for acoustic treatment are outlined in the Port Noise Management Plan.  This plan includes how the Port: 

a) measure, monitor and assess Port Noise;
b) mitigates noise effects where practicable;
c) provide for acoustic treatment of affected houses where required (and the maximum dollar value that the Port will provide);
d) report, process and investigate any complaints about noise and provide feedback to the complainant; and
e) sets the framework within which the Port Noise Liaison Committee operates.

View the Port’s full report, including detailed contour maps and summary presentation.

Information provided by the Port predicts that up to 38 existing dwellings may qualify for acoustic treatment by 2035.  This includes some houses that already qualify and/or have already received acoustic treatment. 

Noise contours are produced annually and presented to the Port Noise Liaison committee to determine which additional houses qualify for Port funded mitigation and the process to be followed in acoustically treating houses.

What are the next steps?

We want to hear from residents within the proposed new Port noise boundaries (both inner and outer) about this revised regulation proposed for the Draft District Plan. View the proposed rules. A meeting hosted by the Port and Council is scheduled for 19 August where there will be a presentation about the new Port Noise Control boundaries.  There will be opportunities for discussion and questions.


Provide your feedback before 28 August 2020 by emailing District Plan Review

There will be further opportunities for comment when the draft plan is released in November. 

Smart Growth
Quality Design
Bluff Hill

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