NZ Transport Agency publishes updated noise guidance


In support of collaborative planning to ensure access to a safe and efficient land transport system, the NZ Transport Agency has published an updated guidance on noise-sensitive land-use management.

The NZ Transport Agency receives about ten noise complaints each month from people living near to an existing State highway. Complaints investigation can be a lengthy, costly and sometimes futile process. This is because retrofitting noise barriers or low-noise road surfacing is often unviable, leaving complainants dissatisfied.

The resulting tension between parties highlights the need for consistent land-use controls, to both manage the location of noise sensitive activities; and to mitigate reverse sensitivity effects on the State highway network.

For this reason, the Transport Agency has reviewed its policy guidance.

The Transport Agency’s Guide to the management of effects on noise sensitive land use near to the state highway network updates and replaces the Transport Agency’s Reverse Sensitivity Policy within the 2007 Transit New Zealand Planning Policy Manual. 

Managing noise-sensitive land-uses, such as residential buildings near state highways, can potentially avoid negative health and well-being effects and their associated costs, for those living or working in these locations.

The updated guidance can be downloaded here, or on the following URL:


For more information please contact the NZ Transport Agency directly: environment@nzta.govt.nz