Kapiti residents living in the vicinity of the new expressway are experiencing
disturbed sleep which is affecting their health and a member of the Paraparaumu/Raumati Community Board believes a breach of the Human Rights Act has occurred.
Bernie Randall has written to the Human Rights Commission requiring it to investigate residents’ complaints of night time noise along the Kapiti Expressway.
New Zealand is a signatory to a number of international treaties that basically
give New Zealanders the right to quiet enjoyment of their home. Excessive noise can interfere with this right, according to Mr Randall.
There are glaring gaps between the night time noise standards that NZTA is
required to follow along the Expressway and the general noise levels laid down
in the Kapiti Coast district plan.
The home is literally the centre of the primary health system. When homeowners experience disturbed sleep this causes stress, reduced work efficiency and poor life quality. For some it can affect their mental health.
The New Zealand Standards guidelines for noise laid down by the Board of Inquiry into the expressway are not fit for purpose to the area, said Mr Randall. They are roading authority centric standards rather than focusing on residents’ home life and sleep patterns. No penalty is provided for night time noise unlike other standards. Mr Randall believes It is doubtful whether the local character of the neighbourhood has been preserved as the Board determined.