OUSA hopes noise message out there disarmingly loud and clear

Francisco Hernandez
Francisco Hernandez
The Otago University Students' Association (OUSA) hopes increased awareness about events at Forsyth Barr Stadium this O-Week will mean fewer noise complaints than last year.

This comes after 58 noise complaints were made to the Dunedin City Council over events at the stadium last O-Week.

The council initially cited the number of complaints as a reason to restrict events to a 11.30pm finish for events at the stadium this year, but this decision was overturned in favour of a midnight cut-off after OUSA objected.

OUSA president Francisco Hernandez hoped giving people who could be affected by the noise information on when events were being held and when they finished would mean fewer noise complaints. To get the message out, OUSA had paid for advertising and carried out a letter box drop of the main areas affected by noise, Mr Hernandez said.

''We would hope that with an increased awareness this year that residents in affected areas would be more understanding of what's happening throughout the week,'' he said.

Another reason to be hopeful for fewer complaints was that only two music events were being held at the stadium this year compared with four last year.

The two events which could cause an issue this year were tonight's Toga Party and the Macklemore and Ryan Lewis concert on Thursday.

Asked why having events at the stadium finish earlier was not acceptable to OUSA, he said: ''It's a matter of catering for what the event-goers want and expect and it's also about providing an area for students to party that is safe and controlled where we can minimise any issues that might arise.''

Council environmental health co-ordinator Ros MacGill, who is in charge of dealing with noise complaints, expected there would be some complaints this year, but like OUSA hoped increased communication would see fewer than last year.

''Hopefully, people will be a little bit more tolerant, because they will at least know when it's going to stop,'' Ms MacGill said.

A combination of factors - including that it was the first time O-Week events had been held at the stadium and the bass-heavy music being played - led to the large number of complaints last year.

The main areas affected by noise were Ravensbourne and Signal Hill, but the heavy bass meant the sound travelled across the harbour as far afield as Macandrew Bay.

Council staff would be out and about tonight and on Thursday to check if the concerts breached the council's district plan noise limits.