There are no national environmental or planning standards related to noise. However, there is New Zealand Standard (NZS) 6806 for the assessment of noise and noise mitigation for new and altered roads. New Zealand Standards are not a legal requirement unless required by statutory approvals or incorporated by reference in regulations, statutes or district plans.
NZS 6806 sets out procedures and requirements for the prediction, measurement, and assessment of road traffic noise for new and materially altered state highways and local roads. The standard also provides best practice guidance and advice on methods for mitigating reverse sensitivity situations and the environmental effects of noise exposure on nearby noise-sensitive activities.
The standard was developed considering health issues associated with noise, the effects of noise levels on people and communities, affordability considerations and the potential benefits of roads to people and communities. The standard recognises (as does the World Health Organisation) ‘that the evaluation of control options must take account of technical, financial, social, health and environmental factors’.
The committee which developed the standard included representatives from a wide range of organisations such as Local Government New Zealand, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport, New Zealand Transport Agency, Road Controlling Authorities NZ, Department of Building and Housing, NZ Acoustical Society, NZ Institute of Environmental Health, Roading NZ, and Ingenium.