How to red-tape yourself into miserable oblivion: Another Liveable City project by Len Brown


A flying fox in a children’s adventure playground has been temporarily disabled after noise complaints from residents.

An Auckland Council sign at Playtime Park, next to the Stonefields estate at the base of Mt Wellington, explains that tests carried out showed that noise generated by flying fox users “exceed levels permitted in the residential area”.

According to the sign, the council was looking at options – including relocating the flying fox – and the community would be advised on the next steps soon.

Orakei local board member Kit Parkinson confirmed the flying fox had been disabled, but said he would know more about what had happened after a meeting today.

In November, the Herald reported that residents had complained about noise and kids’ “squealing” coming from the flying fox at the playground, which opened in September, as well as large sand areas used to create a landing zone beneath the equipment.

Resident Alan Gilder said then: “I would like the flying fox removed. It does get very noisy on the weekend and there’s sand everywhere. I certainly didn’t expect to have a beach on my doorstep.”

Bet you Alan Gilder doesn’t have kids.  What a miserable sod.  If you don’t like living in a community, buy a property where you are completely separated from irritable things like other people.   Certainly don’t be so dense as to buy right next to a playground. 

The complaints led to the council erecting signs and starting a noise assessment at the playground, which backs on to the homes of several residents.

Yesterday, a photo of the council sign was shared on social media by community group Auckland For Kids, garnering outraged comments.

“You are kidding me!!! What, so the kids are squealing too loudly with pure fun and joy and the neighbours say it’s too loud?? What is this world coming to!!?” wrote Facebook user Julia Holdom.

“We are residents and find this decision appalling! It’s a handful of people who were aware they were buying next to a playground who object.”

The really fun thing is that Alan Gilder and his ilk are using council by-laws to force the council to act against noise complaints.

Seriously, what sort of a “liveable city” can’t have children outside having fun because they make too much noise?

Hope you’re proud of yourself Lennie boy.


– Susan Strongman, NZ Herald


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  • Forrest Ranger

    I heard this story on the radio just as i was waking up this morning. I had to pinch my self as I was wondering how it was April the 1st already.

  • Pete

    This is what happens when you force people to live on top of each other! the noise is perfectly fine in streets with houses, which have gardens, fences, sheds, walls, trees etc to baffle the sounds, but when you jam people into boxes in some sort of modernist Soviet ghetto this is what you’ll get.

  • john Doe

    The sound of children having fun. How ghastly. Bannish them to thier rooms to play xbox or the like. Aucland kids will end up being pale and sickly if loopy Len has his way.

  • There is no doubt I could put a noise complaint in on the kids next door. At times I have to close the window and put the sound up to hear the radio / youtube / etc. But for crying out loud… making a noise complaint to the council?

    What a sad git.

    • Damon Mudgway

      Exactly. If you don’t like suburbia, don’t live there…derrr!

  • Whitey

    This problem is easy enough to solve. Mr Gilder just needs a more powerful stereo.

    • Momo

      We used to put Lily Allen’s ‘[email protected]&$ You’ on repeat when our neighbour’s daughter screamed like she was being murdered every time she jumped into the pool. Stopped very quickly.

      • Whitey

        I like your style!

  • caochladh

    What happened to all the double glazing that was touted for new developments??

    • Momo

      Alan likes the windows open..his rights etc etc

  • EvoDriver

    Even with all that puncuation, Julia Holdom didn’t get the decision reversed?????? What is the world coming to!!?!??!?!!?!!111!!!1!ONE!!!

  • The Chippy

    Just watch everyone, complaints will now come about the umpires whistles at the adjacent netball courts.
    Western springs all over again

  • Albert Root

    He’s very much into his professional cycling, so probably wants 1000s of kms of cycle lanes built in Auckland too. Doubt he’s the type to worry if they disrupt anyone else’s day either.

    • D.Dave

      He probably dons the ‘lycra’ when composing the complaints to the council. What a sad git! The best sound around is the sound of kids enjoying themselves. As for dangerous towers, how does he think children define their boundaries. They explore, fall, and get up again,; it is called living…..

  • Honcho

    I am gutted this NIMBY wasn’t told to “harden the truck up” (in the best chopper reid voice)

    He is no better then the western springs residents who hate speedway, or the lifestyle block owner on trig road who hates the airforce at whenuapai. Why do these people get their way when they should be publicly derided? I will never know.

    • InnerCityDweller

      or those that live around Victoria Park and complain about the bag pipes on weekends….

    • GT

      We have these types out our way at Ardmore they move in and start making noise about the airfield that has been here for years and was here before them just like the springs etc

  • cows4me

    Most livable city, haha what a joke.

  • “Alan Gilder, of Galway Bay Tce, said he didn’t begrudge children the playground but he wants the flying fox and sand removed, is concerned about three tall climbing towers which he said were a potential hazard and said children endangered locals by riding bikes on footpaths.
    “I would like the flying fox removed. It does get very noisy on the weekend and there’s sand everywhere. I certainly didn’t expect to have a beach on my doorstep. It gets inside. The park is awesome but they haven’t put a lot of thought into it – the flying fox generates a lot of squealing.”
    Mr Gilder said pets defecated in the sand which created another safety hazard.”

    – NZ Herald, Nov 26 2014

    He is probably also concerned that some of the kids are wearing clothing that is far too bright, that some are walking too quickly,likely to be a danger to older people, and that he has also heard reports of some of the children giggling and laughing!

    Ain’t you glad you haven’t got this grinch as a neighbour?

    • Quinton Hogg

      What a moaner.
      The park has a cycle way around it for kids to cycle on as well. I bet that is what he is moaning about.
      I might take my kids down to this park to add to the cacophony!

      • Albert Root

        No, he likes cycles – he’s a bike retailer

        • Damon Mudgway

          A ‘bunch rider’ no less. Rest my case.

        • Quinton Hogg

          I saw that he was a mamil.

    • LesleyNZ

      Good on Alan – he is not being a grinch. I think you are not being fair at all. There is difference between children screaming wildly while they play and playing happily and laughing. Kids screaming all day would not be too nice to hear. I think the playground has been poorly planned. I wonder if the detail of the playground (with the flying fox) was on the plan when the owners purchased the properties? It is a trend to have these massive playgrounds fill of sand. Gotta keep the kids happy – even though we do kms of sand at the beach nearby. Council recently built a toddlers playground in Jutland Rd, Hauraki. Such fun – a lovely little playground – but the cats have a great time in the uncovered sandpit. One person I spoke to said they clean it out in the morning – when they can – of cat faeces. Pretty unhygienic. Cats can be a pain when they do this. (And I don’t really want to give Cam ammunition against cats).

      • Raibert

        Think there are two problems, 1st is poor urban design, the playground should have trees and screens to stop noise affecting neighbours. This must be done in a way that doesn’t isolate the children and make the targets for predators etc. 2nd is poor building design no modern building should be built without sufficient acoustic measures – insulation, double glazing, screens etc.
        Both of these issues are the responsibility of the Council and Developers. Developers trying to maximise profit and the weak Council not able to ensure good design.
        The family is the basis of our society, children are a given and they are noisy and messy! A balanced society needs to plan and manage the environment. Here we have a media beat up using the opinion / complaints of a few individuals, has anyone asked the opinions of the rest of the residents?

  • “If I’d known there was a children’s playground next door when I bought the house, I wouldn’t …..
    Oh wait ……”

  • waldopepper

    ive maintained for many years that if, as the vast majority attest to, our children are our most precious things, then society would function very differently than it does. and this is a classic example. we should be building more playgrounds with flying foxes and the sound of kids playing and having fun should be deafening. but no, we let one or two stupid people ruin it for so many others.

  • Michael

    Poor build quality and lack of soundproofing, not children are the problem. If you want to scrimp on the house cost then you have to live with the consequences.

    • Wendy

      There wont be any scrimping in there. The houses relatively speaking, are really expensive.

      • I would not rent/buy/live there. Stonefields feels like a concentration camp.

        • Wendy

          Neither would I, but then you and I are not their “target market”.

          The houses are nice but the sections are 300m2 and 400m2…certainly not the place to live if you are looking for peace and privacy.

        • LesleyNZ

          Very good description.

      • HSV325

        Scrimped on the size of the sections big time. Houses are jammed in like sardines in a tin

  • MaryLou

    Funny – hubby and I were discussing last night how child unfriendly Auckland has become. The topic at the time was the closure of Pizza Hut, Hungry Jack, Cobb & Co etc where families were the norm. But this is the same stuff – Brown wants us to move into smaller and more tightly packed homes, and kids make noise. And they need places to let off steam. So – are kids not welcome in our communities any more?

    • Odd Ball

      Try walking around Queen st, and you’ll notice very few, if any children, also playgrounds are almost non existent in the central city.

      • MaryLou

        Yes, it’s sad. Tried very hard to convince my family to move when kids were smaller – a few designated parks and a few family friendly restaurants, were the only places they were really welcome, and you could relax. Compare that to many areas in (for example) France – where going out for a meal often entails children being hijacked by another table so the parents can grab a few bites in peace – people here really do seem incredibly self-obsessed.

    • Pharmachick

      Two of my friends (husband and wife) moved out of Auckland for *precisely* that reason. One got a better job, the other took a hefty pay cut, but they’re brining up their kids in a small central North Island city where the kids can play and mountain bike and go to lakes and forests. Auckland is not a place to raise kids.

  • Michael

    Reminds me of the forced closure of the Horror Maze in Prebbleton two years ago (Christchurch) as the screams were disturbing the horses in a rural area. No sex. no drugs, no rock & roll – perfect teen good clean fun; stuffed by the miserable.

  • pak

    I think people are entitled to some peace and quiet in their own homes if that’s how they prefer to live – others love having lots of people around and plenty of noise whether from children or grownups. I think where this complaining resident loses the argument however is that apparently the adventure playground was there first and it perhaps was not the best choice for him to decide to live there. Seems like his problem is just with the flying fox though, rather than the whole playground. According to the Council the noise exceeded level permitted in residential area so must be pretty loud.

    • thehawkreturns

      Remember Stonefields is a hole that noise echoes around in. Add high density living right next to the playground….

      • LesleyNZ

        Yes that is true. Don’t think I like this high density intensive living philosophy that the powers that be think is so wonderful.

  • LesleyNZ

    I don’t think a flying fox should have been included in the playground plans. I sympathise with the residents.

    • Quinton Hogg

      Our local park has a flying fox. my kids use it and have had a great deal of fun once they got over their initial fears.
      the things build confidence that can’t be done in the cotton wool environment that some would see our kids grow up in.

      • LesleyNZ

        So does ours but it is not close to the houses like this one. I am not saying don’t have flying foxes – where they are put should be well thought out.

  • El Diablo

    Far better to have the kids indoors playing video games and watching TV than have them outside in the playground getting exercise. I think the best solution is to ban kids!

  • munzrat

    Boy those kids ….. under sharia law we could peacefully stone them in the sand pit .

  • Damon Mudgway

    If I was looking for a bike in Auckland for my kids, I certainly would NOT be shopping at Alan’s shop.

    • Pharmachick

      That isn’t very nice. Doxxing people on the internet isn’t good manners. Also, this guy may be kind of a douche, but you ought not to attack his business. Hint: there’s plenty of that [business attacking] been going on with Whaleoil and nobody’s very happy about it.

      • Damon Mudgway

        This guy is part of a community. All his info is out in the public domain. He’s on Facebook. He’s complaining about the noise kids make in a park and yet his business sells bikes to kids. Either he’s been misquoted, or he’s a fool to believe opening his yap would not have some negative result. I’ve dealt with fools his ilk ad-infinitum. I get offside with a ton of people, and I understand the consequences for my actions and accept them. I’m an adult and it’s till a free country. Readers can take my comment for what it is. If part of his customer base were not children, the very one’s he’s complaining about. then I would not have highlighted his business.

        • [MOD] consider yourself lucky I didn’t see it. You would have been on the outside looking in.

          • Damon Mudgway

            No worries Pete. You can cancel my subscription.

          • NZ 2014

            You all sound like kids

  • Damon Mudgway
    • Aucky

      My God this is just awful. The problems of the first world…………..

      I’m stunned. What will the next Stonefields crisis be? Farros running out of truffle oil maybe?

      Spare my days these people need to get a life.

      • Sunshine

        It’s when Farro runs out of Peplers Black Raspberry Vinaigrette!!!!!

  • Shoreboy57

    Kids can’t play in a public playground but he and his mates can clog the roads in their lycra

  • HSV325

    We looked at buying in Stonefields about 3 years ago. No triple car garaging, bugger all parking on the roads, houses jam packed on the sections with virtually no private outdoor living. Welcome to high density living.

    • thehawkreturns

      Coronation Street. Even has the pub.

  • Wendy

    When I told the kids about this they said “Why doesn’t someone (a team of neighbourhood dads, for example) just go and recommission it?”

    There is a thought.

  • Rick H

    Yeah, the kids should be back inside infront of the playstation where they belong. Noisy brats / / /sarc.

  • Sunshine

    No flying fox for the kids, but feel free to let off fireworks all year round. Council madness.