Some residents who have lived in Kaipara for decades plan on leaving Dargaville if Tegel's plans for a mega chicken farm steams ahead.

About 80 Kaipara locals and iwi, along with animal advocacy group Direct Animal Action, staged a protest outside the poultry giant's Newmarket head office at lunchtime on Wednesday.

Bearing colourful signs and banners, the group loudly chanted its opposition to the proposed farm which could stock up to 1.3 million chickens in 32 sheds.

Read more: Exposed: Footage of dead, deformed chickens inside one of Tegel's farms
Second protest against Tegel's chicken farm plan in Arapohue, Northland
Focus: Dead, deformed chickens filmed inside a Tegel farm

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Karen Exley has lived in Dargaville for the past 30 years.

"The odour is a big part. I mean all the local houses, the urupā are going to be affected. So when people are visiting the urupā they're now going to have to smell and sit there and put up with the odour."

She doesn't want to have move because of the mega farm.

"We wouldn't be able to stay because it goes against everything we believe in," Exley says.

"I wouldn't be able to now drive past a mega broiler factory every day knowing those chickens were in the sheds."

Bearing colourful signs and banners, the group loudly chanted its opposition to the proposed farm which could stock up to 1.3 million chickens in 32 sheds. Photo / Dean Purcell
Bearing colourful signs and banners, the group loudly chanted its opposition to the proposed farm which could stock up to 1.3 million chickens in 32 sheds. Photo / Dean Purcell

Exley says she also has to consider her elderly parents in their early 80s who live on her property too.

"We're going to have to take it one day at a time," she says.

"I don't want to have to move but everybody will have to assess that when the time comes and each will make their own call which will be really sad I think."

Kāpehu marae's spokeswoman, Betty Shine, told the Herald it was a fight she would see through to the end.

"It's right next to our cemetery and you know obviously [Tegel] didn't do their research before they decided to take this up, so we've got to fight and do the fighting for our children and grandchildren."

The protest is timed with what would've been the start of a resource consent hearing that Tegel put on hold late last month.

It has until November to come back to the table.

Leading the charge, was Direct Animal Action's spokeswoman, Deirdre Sims.

She belted out to the protesters over a megaphone why they were there.

"[Tegel has] shown no respect for the locals, no respect for the iwi, no respect for the environment and no respect for the animals."

The protest was timed with what would've been the start of a resource consent hearing that Tegel put on hold late last month. Photo / Dean Purcell
The protest was timed with what would've been the start of a resource consent hearing that Tegel put on hold late last month. Photo / Dean Purcell

Sims then pointed to the recent footage obtained by the Herald at one of Tegel's chicken farms near Helensville.

That footage showed a number of dead and deformed chickens, some unable to get up off their backs and others with open wounds.

The group took what they filmed to the Ministry for Primary Industries, prompting a surprise inspection. MPI has since confirmed it was investigating.

A spokesperson for Tegel Foods Limited told the Herald that the company and its farmers were "committed to the highest standards of animal welfare".

It also added its concern about "an alleged break-in and biosecurity breach" on one of its farms. "As we have not seen any video footage we are unable to comment further at this time."

About 80 people protest outside the Tegel head office in Newmarket over the company's plan to build a mega chicken factory in the Kaipara District. Photo / Dean Purcell.
About 80 people protest outside the Tegel head office in Newmarket over the company's plan to build a mega chicken factory in the Kaipara District. Photo / Dean Purcell.