From The Christchurch Press Nov 21st 2006

Ruapuna din 'harms mental health'
Loud noises from Ruapuna raceway could be causing mental health problems for nearby residents, a new clinical opinion suggests.
A clinical adviser from the Canterbury District Health Board has sent a letter to Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore, which said noise from the raceway had caused "significant deterioration in mood, depressive symptoms and ... high levels of stress" to those affected by the noise.
Several residents living close to Ruapuna had been referred by general practitioners to specialists after suffering problems related to "constant and excessive noise", the letter said.
The letter described residents forced to wear earmuffs, getting extra insulation, putting on loud music or leaving their houses to avoid the noise.
One family referred to the clinical adviser said the problem had started only two years ago when Ruapuna was given the go-ahead to operate 364 days per year, three times more than the previous limit of 120 days.
The letter's author, who did not wish to be named, urged the council to review decisions and asked that further consideration be given to the "impact of these decisions on the mental health of the residents".
"There is an issue for the physical and mental health of the community that needs to be addressed," the letter said.
Residents close to Ruapuna yesterday told The Press the noise from the raceway was "brutal, intrusive, and unnecessary".
One member of the residents' group Quieter Please, who did not want to be named, said this weekend's New Zealand Motorsport Summer Series would be a nightmare.
"Residents are dreading this weekend. It is not just two days of racing, there is two days of practice and a speedway event on Saturday night.
"Staying inside certainly doesn't stop it," she said.
Christchurch City Councillor Bob Shearing said the raceway operators could not be restricted.
"The operators are meeting all the standards required of them."
Shearing felt the standards were acceptable and said nothing could be done to change the raceway unless someone "goes through the process of changing the standards".
Mike Steere . Christchurch Press . November 21st 2006

1 comment:

avanti popolo said...

The callousness of Shearing's comments, and indeed the corporate callousness shown by the City Council in forcing a community to live with infernal din like this day in, day out, must be among the most appalling blots on the record of our local government, and should be made much more widely known -- especially in this local election year 2007.

The perpetrators of this ongoing outrage should consider themselves lucky they live in a society like New Zealand, in which self-appointed politically-correct whingers are taken seriously when they rabbit on about the "human rights" of the crims and social pests that make life a misery for law-abiding citizens. In some other countries the citizens would by now have marched on the Takapuna racetrack en masse and trashed the place and everyone in it -- and the nation would have cheered.