Plan Variation 07/01

Port Noise

Publicly notified 14 July 2007

operative 19 november 2012

At its meeting on 23 February 2012 Nelson City Council resolved to approve Variation 07/01 Port Noise, following an Environment Court mediation process and ensuing Consent Order (ENV WLG 2009 094 and 086 - 17 December 2011). This consent order can be downloaded here (121KB PDF).

Following approval from the Minister of Conservation (as it relates to the Regional Coastal Plan), Variation 07/01 (Port Noise) was made operative on 12 November 2012.

View the Operative public notice here. (19KB PDF)

Download a supplementary document (305KB PDF) that provides a summary of amendments to the original 07/01 Variation document following the Commissioner recommendations and resolution of appeals by consent order.

Variation 07/01 appeals

The period for appeals on the Port Noise Variations closed on Friday 24 April 2009, two appeals were received.  The relief sought by the appellants was as follows:

Gibbons Holdings Ltd

Amend decision to include an LMax provision (LMax is a measurement of maximum noise level, which would record 'clangs and bangs').

Download the Gibbons Holdings Ltd Notice of Appeal (TIF @ 230KB) (229KB TIF).

Nelson Waterfront Protection Association

Either decline the entire Variation or impose enforceable noise limits on the Port activities, implement an effective noise monitoring and measurement system and provide an adequate compensation package to remedy or mitigate unavoidable health effects on the community.

Download the NWPA Notice of Appeal here (TIF @ 90KB) (90KB TIF).

Section 274 parties to proceedings before the Environment Court

A number of others sought to be party to these appeals under section 274 of the Resource Management Act 1991. The notices can be downloaded.

Council decisions on Commissioner recommendations

Hearings took place the week of 26 May 2008 and on 3 July 2008. On 5 March 2009 the Nelson City Council resolved to adopt without modification the Commissioners’ recommended decisions on Variation 07/01 (Port Noise) and the reasons for those decisions.

Download the Commissioner recommendations . (960KB PDF)

Copies are available for inspection at:

  • Nelson City Council Main Reception, Ground Floor, 100 Trafalgar Street, Nelson.
  • Elma Turner Library, Halifax Street, Nelson.
  • Nightingale Library Memorial, Rocks Road, Tahunanui.
  • Stoke Library, Putaitai Street, Stoke

Clause 14(4) of the First Schedule of the Resource Management Act 1991 provides for any submitter or further submitter to appeal any provision or matter that is the subject of their submission to the Environment Court.  Appeals must be lodged within 30 working of the receiving notice of the Council’s decisions with the Environment Court, and also served upon Nelson City Council and all other submitters and further submitters to the same topic of the proposed Variation.  A list of all submitters and further submitters can be found on the last page of the Summary of Submissions and Further Submissions document.

Download the s42A RMA Officer's Report to the hearing (393KB PDF).

Download the Summary of Submissions and Further Submissions (284KB PDF) or contact the Planning Assistant Environmental Policy, +64 3 546 0388. for further details.

Please note the period for filing appeals with the Environment Court closed 24 April 2009.

Information for property owners affected by noise from Port Nelson

An information sheet is available for owners of residential properties affected by noise from Port Nelson who may be contemplating building new dwellings, doing alterations, or renovations.

The information will assist you to understand the new rules (Proposed Variation 07/01) that the Council has introduced to the Nelson Resource Management Plan.

Download information on the new rules for the Port Noise Variation 07/01 . (606KB PDF)


The Council is proposing to make some changes to the Nelson Resource Management Plan (NRMP) to manage port noise.  The changes are called Proposed Variation 07/01. The Variation is fully explained in two documents that are available from Civic House in Trafalgar Street. These are called Proposed Variation 07/01-Port Noise Volume One – Plan Amendments and Volume Two – Section 32 Evaluation. A volume of Appendices is also available, and can be purchased for $75.60 + GST.

Council has been consulting with the community and industry on port noise since 1998. There are currently appeals before the Environment Court on the matter and both residents and businesses have at times been unhappy with the existing rules.  That has prompted Council to propose the changes.

What the Variation is about

The variation stems from the approach taken at Port Chalmers with adjustments made to suit the Nelson situation.

It is a fresh approach that offers flexibility for port operations and requires the Port Operator to be responsible for managing and minimising noise in the surrounding neighbourhood. It involves the preparation and use of:

  • A Port Noise Management Plan, and
  • A Port Noise Mitigation Plan, and
  • A Port Noise Liaison Committee

The Port Noise Management Plan will include procedures for reducing noise through staff training, noise modelling, monitoring, auditing, reporting procedures, and complaint handling procedures.

The Port Noise Mitigation Plan will provide mitigation for dwellings such as noise insulation and ventilation in affected residential areas around the Port.

The Port Noise Liaison Committee will include representatives from the Port Hills residents and it will investigate complaints and determine new ways to minimise noise generated at the Port.

Where the Variation may be inspected

Variation 07/01, together with the accompanying ‘Section 32 Evaluation’ is available for public inspection at:

  • Nelson City Council Planning Counter, Ground Floor, 100 Trafalgar Street, Nelson.
  • Elma Turner Library, Halifax Street, Nelson.
  • Nightingale Library Memorial, Rocks Road, Tahunanui.
  • Stoke Library, Putaitai Street, Stoke

Download Port Noise Variation amendments (475KB PDF)

Download the Section 32 Evaluation (707KB PDF).

Obtaining a copy of the Variation

Copies of Variation 07/01 and the ‘Section 32 Evaluation’ may be obtained from the Planning Counter at Nelson City Council, Ground Floor, 110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson, or by phoning the Planning Assistant on 03 546 0200, or by emailing the Policy and Planning Administrator. The volume of Appendices can be purchased for $75.60 excluding GST by contacting the Planning Assistant.


If you have any queries, please contact  Policy and Planning Administrator 03 546 0200.

Noise Complaints

Please note that any complaints relating to noise at Port Nelson should be directed to Environmental Services Ltd, by phoning Nelson City Council on +64 3 546 0200 anytime.