A public meeting to discuss locals' concerns about a proposed broiler chicken farm in Northland has been organised by nearby residents.

Residents of about eight households along Mititai Rd and Whakahara Rd are opposed to Tegel's chicken farm, which has previously been described as 'huge and smelly', at Arapohue on SH12, south east of Dargaville, due to concerns about the smell and potential devaluation of properties.

Resource consents for the farm, which could stock up to 1.3 million birds and employ 32 people, have been lodged with the Northland Regional Council and the Kaipara District Council.

Both councils have publicly notified Tegel's application and submissions close on March 7.


Beef farmer Peter Exley said immediate neighbours of the proposed chicken farm organised a meeting at 7pm on Thursday at the Arapohue Hall to discuss the effects of Tegel's plans.

He said the public was invited and would be able to speak at the meeting.

Smell and the devaluation of properties close to the proposed chicken farm were the major concerns of neighbours, he said.

Mr Exley rubbished Tegel's claim measures would be put in place to minimise the smell.

"Minimisation doesn't eliminate that risk. That's one of the key issues Tegel should have consulted the community on but they haven't," he said.

The Exleys' home would overlook the chicken farm which, he said, would reduce the value of their property.

"We concerned residents don't want the buildings of the chicken farm to destroy what we already see and enjoy.

"If we can't stop Tegel, we'll request compensation of some sort, whether or not that will be enough for some residents to move on," Mr Exley said.


Tegel representatives have not been invited to the meeting.

Mr Exley said a handful of people from outside Kaipara who had struggled with broiler farms being built in their neighbourhood have advised residents of Mititai Rd and Whakahara Rd on how to fight Tegel.

Mr Exley said a second meeting may be held depending on how Thursday's goes.

Meeting organisers have started a Dargaville Tegal Chicken Farm Protest Group Facebook page that contains information, including details about the resource consent applications.

"That smell will waft right across to Te Kopuru, and up to Arapohue School, and from Maungaraho. Plus all down the state highway as locals and tourists drive past," Joan Brown posted on the Facebook page.

The proposed chicken farm will have 32 free range sheds with each containing 41,400 birds.

In response Tegel yesterday reiterated an earlier statement that the publicly notified resource consent process would give the local community the opportunity to raise their concerns and be involved in the process.

In its resource consent applications, Tegel detailed how the bird droppings - or litter - would be disposed of and plans to minimise smell from the sheds.

Droppings and dead birds removed from the sheds would be burned in two purpose-built boilers in an energy centre.

Heat produced in the energy centre would be used to heat the sheds and minimise the moisture content of the droppings, reducing the smell.

That centre will be able to combust 40 tonnes of litter per day.

The resource consent states up to six weeks of litter of about 1700 tonnes will be stored in three manure bays within the energy centre.

"The removal and transport of used chicken litter from the sheds will generate a short-term discharge of odour at the end of each batch," Tegel said.

"The proposed farm design will utilise renewable energy sources, by incorporating solar panels into the shed designs and operating a litter burner to generate heat to the sheds.

"These alternative uses of energy are a positive step in reducing the effects of climate
change. As a back-up, this will be supplemented by LPG and electricity from the national grid."

The poultry giant also plans to extract a maximum of 350cu m of bore water per day at
a rate of 4.9 litres per second.