Neighbours of a Havelock North mushroom farm continue to complain to Hawke's Bay Regional Council about its odour.

Te Mata Mushroom Company employs 120 people and has been operating out of its Brookvale Rd site in Hawke's Bay for more than 50 years.

It was once a rural farm but due to residential development in the area over the years it is now within a few hundred metres of houses.

Some locals say the odours coming from the farm have become worse over time.

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So far this year Hawke's Bay Regional Council has received 65 odour-related complaints about the farm, building on the 248 made last year.

Te Mata Mushroom Company owner Michael Whittaker told Stuff he felt the company had been bullied over the years.

"I think personally, we have [been bullied] ... there's been a huge amount of that, there's been a huge amount of politicking and I think there's been a huge amount of bias within the regulatory side.

Lisa Sargison started a petition in support of Te Mata Mushrooms after the company was fined $26,000. Photo / Warren Buckland
Lisa Sargison started a petition in support of Te Mata Mushrooms after the company was fined $26,000. Photo / Warren Buckland

"At the end of the day, we've been here for 51 years ... People bought houses next door to a rural setting. Whether it's us, or the orchard sprayers ... they've bought themselves closer to a rural interface and there are consequences."

The company was fined $26,000 by the Environment Court in September due to odour escaping the farm's boundaries.

Lisa Sargison started an online petition against the farm being fined shortly after it was handed down to the company.

She told Hawke's Bay Today that she thought the fine was a terrible idea.

"I think it's completely atrocious for council to fine them."

She said people complaining about the smell had risked the livelihoods of the 120 employees at Te Mata Mushrooms.

"That's people's livelihoods at risk, because people can't handle the smell."

Whittaker said he was looking forward to coming to "some conclusion" after nearly four years of issues and complaints.

July 31 to August 2 has been set for a joint hearing, between Hastings District and Hawke's Bay Regional councils about the issue.