Skip to content

Christchurch City Council not kidding around with goat noise complaint

Jody Cartwright says her goat, Merrywether, has a “very sweet nature”, but is excessively loud.
PHOTO: Supplied.

A Christchurch woman has had to get rid of her “bleating goat” to avoid a fine for excessive noise.

Jody Cartwright’s goat Merrywether – which was just three months old when she bought him in January – is the unusual addition to the list of noise complaints made to the Christchurch City Council this year.

Most noise complaints are about radios, stereos, televisions and, increasingly, construction.

Cartwright had Merrywether at her house for only a month when she started receiving noise complaints in February.

“I had a goat when I was young and thought the dog could do with a companion – turns out that didn’t work out so well.”

She tried to take Merrywether on more walks so he would sleep longer but “he just wanted to be around people”.

The company of her dog, Tanto, and cat, Dingo, was not enough to stop his bleating.

“If it was me coming home or mum coming up the drive, he would bleat for attention.”

Christchurch City Council rules stated a noise control officer would visit a home after a noise complaint was received to assess the noise for volume, tone and duration.

Cartwright was issued an Excessive Noise Direction and a month to rehome Merrywether to avoid paying a fine of $500.

She found a new home for Merrywether in rural Ashburton, where he had better facilities and was settling in well.

“It’s just me and [Tanto and Dingo] now,” she said.

Council statistics showed animal noises did not register in the top four noise complaint categories in Christchurch, which were dominated by noise from radios, stereos and televisions.

Since the Christchurch earthquakes, the number of complaints about construction noise had increased by 76 per cent percent.

RBL Brick and Block worker Will Fisher said people were generally unimpressed when he fired up the brick-saw.

“Once 7am comes along we rip into it, but until then we just chew the fat.”

The council’s environmental compliance inspections and enforcement unit said construction and demolition work was unavoidably loud and work between 7am and 6pm was acceptable.

_By Megan Sutherland for The Press