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Grey Lynn’s Richmond Rovers rugby league club claims local resident made noise complaints, filmed young players

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The Richmond Rovers rugby league club has been part of the Grey Lynn sporting community for 110 years. Photo / Alex Burton

A popular Grey Lynn rugby league club accused of “disturbing the peace” by a local resident claims the man has filed numerous noise complaints about its kids’ training sessions and filmed young players as part of a protracted dispute.

In a Facebook post, Richmond Rovers junior club convener Rose Iefata said the man complained multiple times about members “playing music while we are training”, and that he had walked into the clubrooms, pulled cords connected to its speakers, creating difficulties for members “week in, week out”.

Iefata said the man claimed yesterday he had been advised by Auckland Council to film the club’s activities “as evidence that we are playing music over 50 decibels”, which she believed they were not.

Auckland Council has been approached for comments, and no one was at the man’s home when the Herald visited on Sunday afternoon.

“For numerous years, he has made it his mission to come down at any given opportunity to harass our club when we are training,” Iefata claimed.

“Previously, he went door-knocking, approaching neighbours to sign a petition to have any type of liquor licence revoked from our club.

“We feel harassed by his constant passive-aggressive nonsense and we are over it. Why would you purchase a home next to a park which is used year-round for sports fields?”

Richmond Rovers has been an integral part of the Grey Lynn sporting community for more than 100 years, started by employees at Benjamin William Davis’ Hardware Boot Factory in Richmond Road in 1912.

The Richmond Rovers Rugby League and Sports Club in Grey Lynn Park. Photo / Alex Burton
The Richmond Rovers Rugby League and Sports Club in Grey Lynn Park. Photo / Alex Burton

Iefata told the Herald the club was a non-profit community organisation run by “very dedicated volunteers” and had celebrated its 110th anniversary this year.

“On a social investment scale, the benefits we provide our rangatahi and tamariki are what help to prevent them from choosing unhealthier and ultimately costly pathways in life,” she said.

“We put these children before our families a lot of the time – there is no way we are out here to make life a misery for our neighbours.”

Iefata said the man had called noise control in the past, but when she explained to them the noise came from kids exercising, the officers were “shocked, apologetic that we had to deal with crap like this”.

She claimed the man had approached the team’s coach, holding his camera up and “obviously recording” yesterday.

“The coach brushed him off and continued training the tamariki. However, this type of behaviour might cause an aggressive reaction in other people if they were approached in the same manner. This is not something that should be appropriate, especially when there are children watching,” she said.

Iefata said the young players, aged between 9 and 18 years, only train for one hour each Saturday in preparation for the 2024 league season.

“The training starts at 8am, which is not an unreasonable time and outside of excessive noise hour restrictions,” she said.

“Watching him filming our kids for the second weekend in a row is unnerving.”

Iefata said another resident who lived nearby had told the club they did not have an issue with the music.

“We are a club that is built on family values and culture. We go that extra mile to provide opportunities for children in our community, who are our future, even on the off-season, because they are worth it,” she said.

“Why people would see an issue with this, I don’t understand. We are causing no harm.”

Iefata added: “Let it be known, we’ve been here for 110 years, and we are NOT going anywhere.”

Auckland Council says it can only take action when noise is deemed excessive or when it breaches Auckland Unitary Plan limits.

Council manager of alcohol and environmental health Mervyn Chetty said noise can be audible from another property without it being considered excessive or enforceable.

“Some people are very much affected by noise, others not nearly as much.”

It was best to talk to your neighbour in the first instance if noise was bothering you.

“If this fails and the noise is genuinely excessive and of concern, call Auckland Council on 09 301 0101 to report the issue. This can be done at any time of the day or night, but it is important to phone when the noise is occurring so that action can be taken.”

If the council assessed noise as excessive, it could serve a written direction to reduce noise which would then be in force for eight days.

Failure to obey the direction could result in equipment seizure, an infringement fee of $500 or prosecution in the District Court, with a potential fine of up to $10,000.

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