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Public Health

Image for the Public Health section.
This page contains information about Council's work in monitoring and managing public health in the Whangarei District.
Updated: 14/09/2016 1:20 p.m.

Our Environmental Health Officers undertake a range of inspection, monitoring and enforcement functions to protect the health and well being of the community. 

These functions include:

  • investigating and controlling health nuisances, infectious diseases and loud noise
  • the inspection of commercial premises such as food premises, hairdressers, offensive trades, camping grounds and funeral directors.

There are regulations which specify minimum standards for these businesses to protect and enhance public health.

Health Act nuisances

Health nuisances can cause the spread of disease and cause annoyance.

Examples are:

  • a smelly compost heap which attracts flies and rats to an area. Rats harbour infectious diseases which can then be passed onto people
  • refuse which is not put out for collection
  • shellfish, including kina, left on the ground to rot rather than being buried.

For information about the "nuisances provisions" under the Health Act 1956, follow the link below.

Health Act 1956, Section 29 (NZ Legislation website) Opens in a new window.

Noise control

Loud noise is particularly annoying and can cause stress which leads to illness. The Resource Management Act 1991 requires that noise must be controlled to a reasonable level at all times.

Night time parties and loud music with very low base is particularly stressful to people living nearby.

We have authority to require immediate control of what is termed “excessive noise” at any time of the day or night. “Excessive noise” means any noise under human control. 

Dealing with complaints

We have contracted Armourguard to carry out noise control services.

When a complaint is made about loud noise, the enforcement officer will follow up and visit the property. If the noise is considered to be excessive, those responsible for it will be asked to immediately reduce it. The officer does not have to use a sound level meter to measure the noise. The request to reduce noise covers a period of 72 hours.

If the noise maker does not turn the noise down or turns it down and then raises it again within the 72 hour period, further action may be taken. The enforcement officer, accompanied by a police officer can return, enter a house or property and seize equipment making the noise.  We may return the equipment on payment of costs but if the noise has been an ongoing problem, we can choose to confiscate the equipment.

Our noise control service can be used at any time of the day or night by phoning +64 9 438 7513.

For information about the "excessive noise provisions" under the Resource Management Act 1991, follow the link below.

Resource Management Act, Section 326 (NZ Legislation website) Opens in a new window.

Infectious diseases

There are a number of infectious diseases which cause illness that can be spread from person to person. Campylobacter, salmonella and the Hepatitis A virus can be caught from eating contaminated food, including shellfish, or drinking untreated water. Illness can then spread to other people through poor food handling practices.

The Health Act 1956 requires that certain infectious diseases are notified to health authorities. Any notification is followed up to ensure that illness does not spread through the community.

Doctors are required to notify infections and our Environmental Health Officers then follow up with the patients to track down where the illness has come from and to stop it spreading. 

Good hand washing and food preparation practices will often stop the spread within a family. 

For information about foodborne illnesses, follow the link below.

NZ Food Safety Authority website. Opens in a new window. 



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