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Styles Group, Acoustics and Vibration Specialists

Auckland Council

Role: Expert acoustic and vibration consultant
Client: Auckland Council
Duration: 2005 – Present

Background

Part of Auckland Council’s role is to assess applications for resource consent, designations and to develop various policy documents such as the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. They also process ‘notices of requirement’ when agencies like Auckland Transport or NZTA want areas of land in the district plan designated for a specific use, such as a new railway line or motorway. The council’s work often includes noise and vibration assessments, as well as setting the levels allowed by the conditions of each consent or designation.

The challenge

Auckland Council processes a large number of applications and they must do this in a consistent and well-informed way. Complex applications can require a high level of expertise in acoustics and vibration. Sometimes council is required to defend or advocate their position in the Environment Court.

The council frequently asks us for expert input and assistance to ensure they are carrying out their statutory duties correctly.

Our solution

Over the years, we have provided thousands of reviews to the council. They range from simple memos on relatively straightforward applications through to appearances as an expert witness at the Environment Court. This has helped to ensure:

  • Consistent application of best-practice across the projects we are involved with
  • Noise and vibration effects being properly assessed, managed and measured through the consenting and monitoring phases

To create better outcomes for the consenting process we have provided the council’s planning teams with training on:

  • Basic acoustic concepts
  • The integration of acoustics into the Resource Management Act
  • Writing practicable, measurable and enforceable conditions for consents and district plans

We continue to work with the council to:

  • Develop process improvements and efficiencies in the consenting process
  • Promote best practice in the industry through its interaction with the council