Canterbury Multi-Use Arena Noise Management Rules Ready for Ministerial Approval

By on June 10, 2021 0

Christchurch City Council has informed that changes to the planning rules for handling noise from the Canterbury Multi-Use Arena (CMUA) during concerts and major events will be sent for ministerial approval after being accepted at the meeting of today’s board.

Planning and Strategic Transportation Manager David Griffiths notes that “while it is vitally important that the arena operates successfully and promotes a vibrant central city, we also need to manage the amount and frequency of noise. for neighbors living in the area.

“We believe that the measures we send in our proposal to the Minister strike an appropriate balance between taking into account the needs of nearby residents and the possibility for CMUA to obtain economic and social benefits for Christchurch and Canterbury.”

Before work on the CMUA progresses further, Christchurch City Council needs ministerial approval to change the Christchurch Central Recovery Plan (CCRP) and Christchurch District Plan, so that the arena can catalyze regeneration of the city while effectively managing its noise.

The changes proposed by the Council to the Minister included:

  • Introduction of noise limits for concerts and public address systems.
  • One hour of the end of the concert at 11 p.m. (except for Christmas Eve, when concerts could go until 12:30 a.m.).
  • A cap of six louder concerts and nine quieter concerts per calendar year to give residents certainty about the maximum frequency of events.
  • A requirement for a noise management plan, real-time compliance monitoring and a modified sound insulation rule for new buildings in the region.

There will be no limit to the number of sporting events or concerts below 65dB.

The Associate Minister of Finance (who has delegated responsibility for residual issues of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Portfolio) will make a decision on the CMUA’s noise management proposals in the coming weeks.

The 25,000-seat indoor arena is the latest anchoring project in Christchurch’s central revival plan and its capacity to host All Black tests, FIFA World Cup qualifiers, major concerts and other events will stimulate the economy and the vitality of the city, and will help to improve sports activities and cultural identity.

Council undertook two rounds of public consultations in 2020 and early 2021, but subsequent arena design development indicated that the noise contours (lines indicating noise levels at different distances from the arena) needed to be remodeled.

The remodeling showed that fewer residential properties were affected as noise contours shifted slightly southward into the city’s commercial area, away from residential areas north of the site.

Council staff began a new round of community engagement with the affected properties in May, before presenting their final recommendations to elected members.

For more information and regular updates on CMUA, visit

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