Plan Change 4 - Noise


Consultation has now concluded.

This plan change is now fully Operative (as of 30 September 2019).

The information below has been included for information purposes only.

Appeal resolved:  14 March 2019

Following Council's decision on the plan change, one appeal was received that has subsequently been resolved as follows:

Notification of decisions on Plan Change 4: Noise

Rotorua Lakes Council has made its decisions on Plan Change 4: Noise to the District Plan.  The plan change is intended to clarify and improve the provisions for managing noise, as well provide clear references to the New Zealand standard. 

In summary, Council has accepted the commissioners’ recommendations on the plan change and the submissions.  

The key changes to the District Plan as a result of Plan Change 4 are:

  • Insertion of references to the NZ Standards for Noise;
  • Clarification of where noise can be measured within a site;
  • Inclusion of a ‘shoulder period’ for noise within the Residential Zone;
  • New definitions of ‘Noise’ and ‘Noise Sensitive Activities’;
  • Inclusion of specific objectives, policies and assessment criteria to guide resource consent decisions;
  • Minor changes to the acoustic treatment requirements for noise sensitive activities; and 
  • An allowance for minor extensions to buildings within the Inner Noise Control Area around the Airport.

Relevant documents are available below:


Submitters may appeal the plan change to the Environment Court. Refer to the First Schedule of the Resource Management Act 1991 for further information.

Appeals must be lodged with the Environment Court within 30 working days of service of a copy of the public notice and must be on the prescribed form. As such, any appeals must be lodged with the Environment Court by 28 June 2018.

For more information on the plan change or the associated process please feel free to contact Council on Ph: 07 348 4199

This notice is given pursuant to Clause 10 and 11 of the First Schedule of the Resource Management Act 1991.  

Further Submission Documents:

Please note, you can only make a Further Submission if you fall into one of the following categories:

  • Any person representing a relevant aspect of the public interest;
  • Any person that has an interest in the proposed policy statement or plan greater than the interest that the general public has; and
  • The local authority itself.

A Further Submission must be limited to a matter in support of or in opposition to the relevant submission.  (RMA, 1st Schedule, Clause 8).

The primary reason for Plan Change 4 is to improve the working of the Rotorua District Plan's noise-related provisions so that noise is more effectively managed across the district. More specifically the reasons for the Plan Change include:

  • Significantly reduced repetition of the same material, and overall condensation of the District Plan.
  • Reduced inconsistencies between similar provisions.
  • The approach to the management of noise is clearly discernible through an articulation of relevant objectives, policies and environmental outcomes that preface noise rules.  This enhanced policy framework is commensurate with the importance of noise as an issue and will aid interpretation of provisions.
  • Remove redundant provisions or duplications.
  • In relation to the activity status for noise sensitive activities near the airport, the new approach is less onerous and more reasonable.

The main changes can be summarised as:

  • Insertion of amended wording around the location for noise measurement.
  • Enhanced reference to the relevant New Zealand Standards.
  • Restructuring of noise provisions and consolidation and placement into a new dedicated noise chapter, including new objectives, policies and environmental outcomes, and the addition of noise-specific assessment criteria.
  • New definition of noise and​ statement of exemptions.
  • New definition of noise sensitive activities, incorporating parts of the existing definition of activities sensitive to aircraft noise.
  • Clear distinction between noise generated and received within the same zone, and another zone.
  • Some change to the acoustic treatment requirements for noise sensitive activities.
  • Some change to the activity status for applications for extensions in those areas subject to airport noise.

View Proposed Plan Change 4

How to make a Submission?

The submission form and guide gives tips on what makes a good submission and what a submission should look like.  You can send your completed submission by e-mail  to or post to The Chief Executive, Rotorua Lakes Council, Private Bag 3029, Rotorua Mail Centre, Rotorua 3046

Key Contact

For more information on the Proposed Plan Change 4 please contact: Kate Dahm, Senior Policy Advisor at

Privacy Act and Official Information Act

Submissions are made under the Resource Management Act 1991. The submissions and the information contained in them will be held by the Rotorua Lakes Council and will also be available at Rotorua Lakes Council's Customer Centre, the Rotorua library and on the Rotorua Lakes Council website.

By taking part in this public submission process submitters will, for the purposes of the Official Information Act 1982, be understood to have waived privacy interests in their submission.

Submitters are also reminded that the information supplied in written submissions may be personal information within the meaning of the Privacy Act 1993. Submitters are advised that under the Privacy Act that they have the right to enquire as to the personal information held by the Council and request that it be accurate.

Page reviewed: 25 Oct 2019 3:32pm