A sensible Dom Post editorial

July 10th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Dom Post editorial:

 A group of Wellington apartment dwellers is angry about noise from nearby pubs.

Thankfully their gripes have been dismissed by those they have complained to: Wellington City Council, noise control officers and the district licensing inspector.

Wellington prides itself on its hospitality credentials – its array of coffee haunts and brew pubs, restaurants and noodle houses and, yes, late-night dance bars.

The whole colourful mix is part of the city’s identity. It sets it apart from other New Zealand cities, and features prominently in Wellington’s branding.

These residents live very close to Wellington’s main hospitality stretch – Courtenay Place and its surrounding lanes. They simply cannot expect to dictate the area’s noise levels and closing hours.

They have chosen to live in the heart of the city, and they need to accept the consequences of that choice.

On the plus side, they have easy walks to workplaces, and the harbour, and all of the city’s attractions. On the more challenging side, they face an increased likelihood of noise and late-night rowdiness.

Bar owner Nick Mills has a convincing point when he says “I thought you lived in the city to enjoy the vibrancy, not to object to the noise”.

Absolutely. They should go live in Tawa if they want peace and quiet.

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29 Responses to “A sensible Dom Post editorial”

  1. duggledog (1,503 comments) says:

    Get double glazing, get over it or as DPF says – get out! They had the same problem with apartment owners in the Viaduct. Apparently there were quite a few yachting luvvies in boat shoes and cashmere jumpers complaining about shit faced PI’s fighting and spewing all over the place at 3 a.m. but what did they expect? Mind you, the then Auckland City Council had changed the goal posts by allowing bars and restaurants to be open pretty much 24/7, because the businesses were struggling after we lost the America’s Cup. I’d never buy in a central city unless I was at least 5 floors up – and – of course, the apartment had double glazing

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  2. alex Masterley (1,507 comments) says:

    Exactly,

    Apartment dwellers in Auckland in the early days of apartments had issues with noisy city dwellers and complained. sadly for them there is not much one can do about flocks of birds using adjacent trees as roosts.

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  3. Elaycee (4,353 comments) says:

    They have chosen to live in the heart of the city, and they need to accept the consequences of that choice.

    Agree 100%.

    What the hell is wrong with these residents? The hotels were there long before the inner city became a residential hot spot. Either they embrace the fact they are in a ‘busy’ location, or they move out / piss off.

    This is no different to the morons in Strathmore and Miramar complaining about airport noise – the airport opened in 1955 and the first jets appeared in 1967. Anyone who purchased their home in the area after 1967, knew full well that (jet) noise would be a factor in the area. But that hasn’t stopped them bleating, either…..

    Totally pathetic.

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  4. jp_1983 (204 comments) says:

    Come on David,
    Tawa is not that bad.
    Up until 1999 you couldn’t legally purchase alcohol there..

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  5. RRM (9,774 comments) says:

    Wellington already has a dedicated inner-city residential zone for grumpy apartment dwellers who want peace and quiet and enjoy complaining about things – Oriental Bay.

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  6. burt (8,200 comments) says:

    These people are like Penny not soBright – lives in a city and refuses to pay rates because water should be free…. Get over it – move to the country if you don’t like what living in the city entails.

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  7. altiora (251 comments) says:

    I am reminded of those poor souls in the Kate Shepherd apartments on Molesworth Street who were seeking council and legal help to stop the Anglican cathedral from ringing its bells on Sunday before each service. Didn’t matter that the cathedral had been doing so for over 75 years before the apartment block was built, and that most normal people would actually find it quite charming to hear bells on Sunday morning. But these poor dears were suffering so the bells had to stop. Unfortunately the Cathedral voluntarily decided to reduce its bell ringing in response.

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  8. Captain Pugwash (98 comments) says:

    Ha! Reminds me of some wallys who moved close to the Karori bird Sanctuary & then complained about the “native” birdsong early in the morning. However I think I know these apartments, they were early-mid ’90s with no double glazing or sound proof walls. Foolish design for inner city living, something to be wary of if you’re thinking of buying into the inner city.

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  9. wf (418 comments) says:

    Like the lifestylers who complain about cow -poo on the roads –

    I used to live in Wellington, and you could set your clock by the roar of the 12.20 am take-off for Sydney.

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  10. ashishnaicker (21 comments) says:

    Some people are just plain crazy. This is like living near the airport and complaining about the noise from planes.

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  11. Ed Snack (1,836 comments) says:

    I’m going to disagree. I recently stayed overnight in Wellington in an inner city Hotel (quite a nice one) and half the night we were kept awake by some inane repetitive pounding music from some bar in the same few blocks. Double glazing existed, but the noise was almost sub-sonic and penetrated the whole building. And like I said, inane sub-head banger style disco rubbish.

    Why the fuck can’t people keep noise to reasonable levels, if it was loud for me it must have been hearing damage levels where ever it was being played. Why do noisy bastards feel they HAVE to advertise their crapulous taste in music to as many people as possible. I’d clamp a tight decibel limit on the lot and close them immediately they broke it, but I’m still grumpy after a great evening meal and outing was spoiled by thoughtless prats and their pointless noise.

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  12. duggledog (1,503 comments) says:

    You get the same miserable bastards who move out for a bit of peace and quiet in the country and then complain about farmers’ cows, silage smells etc. Enough voices = restrictions or in the worst case closed businesses.

    Remember those arseholes who managed to get the mushroom factory closed down in Morrinsville? The business had been operating for years and years, someone gets a subdivision signed off nearby, next thing you know the residents had successfully lobbied to have the place shut down with all the jobs gone.

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  13. duggledog (1,503 comments) says:

    Burt – regarding this notion of free water – a friend of mine relocated to the country with one of the things he was looking forward to being ‘free water’. The water tank on his lovely property had to be replaced at just under $4,000 with new pump & plumbing into the bargain at $1,500 – $2,000. Then he ran out of water summer before last because of the drought and had to pay $300 for a fresh tank refill (then it rained for two days).

    I didn’t have the heart to ask whether the cost of his water infrastructure was equal to ten or fifteen years’ water supply back in town. But back to the thread…

    Ed Snack – you weren’t at City Life Apartments were you? Stayed there recently couldn’t hear a thing and it was pumping in town that night

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  14. Grendel (993 comments) says:

    Hah, we just moved from the terrace to Tawa, for a number of reasons but one of the things we were looking forward to was not hearing the students singing and shouting loudly as they staggered to town on the weekend (and the crying as they staggered home). we knew it was the cost of living that close to town, so did not see any point complaining, well other than leaning over the balcony one morning to tell two muppets have a very loud argument outside the dairy we lived about, to “fuck the hell off”. gave them a hell of a shock and they staggered off with a “sorry sir” which made me feel very old.

    this has been happening for years though. i worked at indigo on cuba st, and within days of the marion square apartments being filled, we had complaints. again, you would think the fact that they were up against cuba st and a bar scene that had been there for years, they would have understood, but no. and noise control did not care, nor the council.

    of course they only complained when it was music they did not like, the loudest gig we ever had was dave dobbyn and we got nary a peep from the wankers.

    if you move somewhere you should have to accept the conditions that were there before you.

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  15. tvb (4,324 comments) says:

    Reasonable noise levels should be enforced. There is no reason at all for bands to be so loud. It kills conversation and is a pain in the neck.

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  16. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (871 comments) says:

    “I am sorry I live in Courtenay place” – Messiah, Jesus V2.0

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  17. Muzza M (291 comments) says:

    Here in Nelson there was a Kiwi guy who had operated a commercial rifle range for years in the Wairoa Valley. A bunch of Poms brought life style blocks on an adjacent farm, built houses, and then tried to have the range closed because of the noise. Go back to England sprang to mind.

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  18. duggledog (1,503 comments) says:

    Muzza did they get it closed down?

    Nelson and Golden Bay seemed to have crap loads of new German and American immigrants last time I visited the place especially over Takaka way

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  19. GoldTeam (5 comments) says:

    tvb

    “Reasonable noise levels should be enforced. There is no reason at all for bands to be so loud. It kills conversation and is a pain in the neck.”

    They are enforced. From the article yesterday – “Between July 2010 and May this year the council received 23 complaints about noise at The Establishment, but it was not found to be excessive. Of the 23 complaints, 19 were from 282 Wakefield St. Between April 2012 and May this year there were 17 noise complaints about Edisons – seven were from Wakefield St. Noise was never deemed to be excessive.”

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  20. ldypen (35 comments) says:

    These idiots are the same as the weirdos that buy a house in Auckland next to the Zoo and complain that the Lions roar too loud, and that the speedway cars make too much noise. Used to live in Pukekohe about 1km away from the racetrack, on certain days when the wind was in the right direction you could here the racing, neighbors decided to complain to the council and asked for signatures.. told them to %uck off as the racetrack was there long before the houses they live in were built… just plain idiots typical of the ME FIRST mentality that you now find in New Zealand.

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  21. redeye (639 comments) says:

    Here in the Motueka Valley we’ve had people complain about the noise made by roosters and cows. Beat that!

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  22. Yogibear (360 comments) says:

    JP-1983

    TAWA WAS NEVER DRY!!!

    In Yogi’s post Uni, pre-rural days he was a suburbanite, living on the beach in Plimmerton, but playing his much loved cricket for North City (couldn’t bring myself to break the joint umbilical cord of the mighty Old Boys and University on the rugby front).

    What is important to note is the Bowling Club, Rugby Club and Cricket club all has very generous licences enabling them to open 7 days, and there were humongous liquor stores right on the boundary.

    Every time the dry vote came up, the sports clubs mobilized to keep the place dry, because the combination of club members’ self interest, plus the unique religious enclave that sees Tawa have more churches per head of population than anywhere else in the country, would see the cushy little legal speakeasys they were running continue.

    The moral of this story: Yogibear learned an important lesson about regulation on his many visits to Tawa namely the market always adjusts and equilibitates, regardless of the regulation one puts in place.

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  23. Yogibear (360 comments) says:

    Another story from Yogibear’s comparative yoof.

    At one stage I thought living in the CBD looked like fun. The mythical beer chariot that transports one quickly home, regardless of time and temperature needed a better home base to be fully effective.

    I looked at a number of apartments. This was at a time where a certain bankrupt with a penchant for a certain speed of car and a certain level of tautness on the female front was very actively developing apartments.

    Yogibear, having dabbled in architecture at University, was amazed at the level of market ignorance and lack of acceptance of materials that would make apartments remotely livable in the Courtneay area.

    You get what you (over) pay for and buyer beware. No sympathy.

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  24. altiora (251 comments) says:

    @ Yogibear: amusing vignettes, but what’s with referring to oneself in the third person?

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  25. Yogibear (360 comments) says:

    @altiora

    The 3rd person usage is Yogibear’s inner professional wrestler being afforded the opportunity to expose itself on a reasonably anonymous blog.

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  26. altiora (251 comments) says:

    I see. So it is therapy?

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  27. Harriet (4,777 comments) says:

    yogi.

    We did the same back in CHCH in the early 80’s —– golf courses were the only places you could get a beer on Sundays. Golf clubs were enough ID for 16ylds to get served in those days. Everyone just had a jug or two – no spirits, no nonsense. There were often off-duty cops there. There were never problems.

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  28. Left Right and Centre (2,933 comments) says:

    Freight trains are not peaceful or quiet. Try another suburb.

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  29. Tempist (12 comments) says:

    Tawa’s not that quiet; it’s all the tooting

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