Operation of "Mosquito" devices in Dunedin

Chris Burgess made this Official Information request to Dunedin City Council

The request was successful.

From: Chris Burgess

Dear Dunedin City Council,

I am seeking information about the deployment, if current, of "Mosquito" devices around Dunedin. In particular I would like to know:

- Whether the devices are still actively used around Dunedin, and if so, the location of currently deployed devices.
- Information gathered on who these devices affect, including whether research was undertaken to consider the effect of these devices on those with sensory disorders or others who might be unduly affected by their deployment.
- What portion of the population the DCC believes are capable of hearing any devices as currently deployed.
- What portion of the population outside the intended affected audience are capable of being affected by same devices.
- Whether the devices comply with DCC's noise control bylaws.
- Information regarding review of the device use by Dunedin City Council.

Please supply also copies of:

- Briefing documents and minutes of meetings where the proposal, purchase or deployments were discussed and reviewed.
- Copies of emails discussing the proposal, purchase or deployment.
- Copies of any reports prepared about the proposal, purchase or deployment.
- Copies of any reports or investigation into the effects of these devices on Dunedin residents, including the youth target "audience".

Yours sincerely,

Chris Burgess

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From: Kristy Rusher
Dunedin City Council

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Our officer responsible for community safety advises that:

“There is a mosquito device fitted to the side of La Maison in Queens
Gardens. It’s been there at least two years, maybe three… This is the only
device the DCC has.”  If it’s still being used it is turned on after 10pm.


We don’t have the specifications for the device.  The officer explained

“It was put there because of the problems around the public toilets with
people using the sides of the buildings when the facilities were closed at
night. Boy racers also used to congregate in the area with fighting,
drinking, etc. It used to disrupt the business at La Maison.

Since the device has been there we have not received complaints from the
area. At the time the device was put in place the opening hours of the
toilets were reconsidered (don’t know the result) and the City Safety
Officers and Police were asked to make more frequent patrols of the area.
So, I don’t know what was the most effective.

The device used to be behind a café in George Street near Albion Lane.
When it was put there graffiti was eliminated. After several years there
it was moved the Queens Gardens and graffiti returned! I’m not sure what
is happening there now because the shop owners were advised it is not very
cost effective to put their own speakers where the problems is and play an
MP3/iPod with the high frequency downloaded (there is an App that is
available that gives the various target ages…). Unfortunately I have no
idea if they were used, where or how many.”


The Council does not have a noise control bylaw.  The Council publishes
all its public reports online, and you can search for reports online at

The Council has not investigated the effects of these devices on Dunedin
residents and has not reviewed the use of this device.  Consequently there
are no reports or emails or investigations available about those matters. 


We were unable to locate any information regarding the “proposal, purchase
or deployment” of the existing device.  This aspect of your request is
declined under section 17(e) of the Local Government Official Information
and Meetings Act 1987.





Kristy Rusher

Manager Civic and Legal, Corporate Services

Dunedin City Council/Kaunihera-a-rohe o Otepoti


Need legal advice?  Go to [1]LawVu Legal Advice Request Form


50 The Octagon, Dunedin; P O Box 5045, Moray Place, Dunedin 9058, New

Telephone:  03 477 4000; Fax: 03 474 3594 

Email: [email address]



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From: Chris Burgess

Dear Kristy Rusher,

Thanks for the response, I appreciate the effort and apologise for the Christmas timing of the enquiry!

I do believe the device is being operated outside its stated aims, namely:

- It's extremely unpleasant to encounter.
- It's frequently on during the day, not "after 10pm".
- It affects adults as well as the "youth" it targets.

I'll follow up by email with a complaint to yourself and the community safety officer, and I hope that a less unpleasant solution can be found for Dunedin.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Burgess

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