Papamoa's tsunami siren test ended up a non-event for Steve Morris, the chairman of the Papamoa Progressive Association.
"I was at the Papamoa Library and I never heard a thing, which is quite surprising."
Mr Morris was eagerly anticipating last Friday's test of one of two sirens on the shortlist to warn people living in vulnerable low-lying suburbs.
"I arrived at the library around 10.30 and asked if they had heard anything. They all said no."
The library next to Palm Beach Plaza was sited nearly halfway between the two sirens mounted on cherry pickers. Testing by the city council began shortly before 9am and continued in short bursts of less than 30 seconds until 1.30pm.
Even more surprising was that Mr Morris' wife, who was at a children's playgroup in the Papamoa Baptist Church, also heard nothing, despite the church sitting just outside one of the areas which the council warned would be the loudest. With noise levels expected to reach 115 decibels closest to the sirens, some residents were even issued with earplugs.
The sirens were set up at the corner of Palm Beach Boulevard and Sovereign Drive, and the corner of Papamoa Beach Rd and Alexander Place. "I was listening out for it, and my wife and the kids were listening for it, and we were surprised that we did not hear a thing."
The two sirens were pointed towards Domain Rd and although the church was only about 100 metres away from one of the sirens, it was not in the direction of the siren's horn.
City engineer Howard Severinsen said he had received reports from people who were close to but behind the sirens who had heard nothing.
Mr Severinsen said the notices to residents were distributed with advertising circulars and went wider than the area which the council expected would be covered by the noise from the sirens.
Mr Severinsen said he was keeping an open mind about the test until the report from the acoustics expert had been received and community feedback forms analysed.
Council engineers had been to Auckland to hear the other shortlisted siren working. The reason for the short bursts was that they had to be careful not to exceed noise limits and 115 decibels for a long time could have meant trouble for the council, Mr Severinsen said.