The introduction of amplified sound systems with thumping bass is a growing concern for the peaceful Kingdom. For those who have enjoyed the tranquillity of island life it is hard now to find a moment without this intrusion- be it emanating from a neighbour or passing or parked cars. The peace that was once an entitlement enjoyed by residents and an attraction for visiting tourists has been stolen by the inconsiderate few.
I have spoken to the Police and four of the most prominent Lawyers in Tonga. All inform me that unavoidable, loud noise of any nature is to conclude by 10:00 pm.
There are no licences that allow any one or any business to consistently make disturbing noise after 10:00 pm.
Also, according to the Order in Public Places Act and Public Health Act, “noise pollution”, “noise which is a nuisance”, “disturbance or loud noise” & “excessive noise”- any time of day is considered unlawful and in particular made very clear that there is to be no noise after 10:00 pm at night. This includes car sound systems, amplified music, builders construction noise and other loud vocal noises etc that can be heard outside their property.
The playing or practising of a band of instruments legally up till 10:00pm should not reach the level of "excessive noise, which causes material discomfort prejudicial to the psychological and physical health and wellbeing of a person". It is unlawful to play overly loud or disturbingly thumping music any time.
A Restaurant Licence- permits a restaurant to sell liquor till 11:00pm.
Order in a public Places Act- permits music or a band to play or practice up till 10:00pm.
Public Health Act- does not permit any excessive noise, causing discomfort anytime, including loud, thumping bands and cars.
The laws are clear and simple yet the Police Department are reluctant to enforce these laws.