Hundreds of people packed the Havelock North Community Centre, all there to try and find a way out from under the mushroom cloud the community is under.

The meeting was called by Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule, who presented to the 400-strong crowd, along with Te Mata Mushrooms' Michael Whittaker and Iain Maxwell from the Hawke's Bay Regional Council.

Each said they were there to try and find a way forward so the company and the community could co-exist peacefully.

"Somehow we have got to find a way through this," Mr Yule said.

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Initial questions from the crowd centered around the odour issues and what was being done to address them.

Others wanted to know what Hastings District Council's liability was in the issue for its zoning of the land.