A gigantic broiler chicken farm in Northland may stock up to 1.3 million birds and employ 32 people but neighbours are concerned about the stench and possible devaluing of their properties.

Poultry giant Tegel has applied to the Kaipara District and the Northland Regional councils to construct the farm over three years at 5763 and 5802 State Highway 12, Arapohue, southeast of Dargaville.

The public have until March 7 to make submissions.

A report on the environmental effects of the proposed $80 million chicken farm has been submitted to the NRC as part of the resource consent process.


The chickens would live in 32 large barns with access to the outside, but would not be slaughtered on the site.

The company has also submitted civil engineering and geotechnical reports, as well as information on air and odour, flooding, hydrogeology, hazardous substances, noise, traffic, landscape and archaeology.

Tegel said its representatives have been having discussions with owners of four houses south of the proposed chicken farm who would have an elevated risk of odour from the farm.

But beef farmers Peter and Karen Exley, who live on Whakahara Rd south of the proposed farm, said locals would have to either put up with the chicken farm or move out.

They have not been consulted by Tegel so far.

"I just want everyone to know a complex is going ahead and what it's going to be about.

"Nobody here is really excited about it and I think it's more a revenue thing than anything else," Exley said.

"What a welcome for tourists to Dargaville - a huge and smelly chicken farm."


The Exleys will look down on the chicken farm which, they said, would reduce the value of their property.

Electrician John Walker, who lives on Mititai Rd north of the proposed farm, is planning to sell his 2.4ha lifestyle block after hearing about Tegel's plans.

"That farm will be right on my view. We were planning on building a house next to our current house to get the view of the river but we'll be looking down on this industrial building."

Walker was not consulted by Tegel and said he only heard about it through the grapevine.

Maize grower Grant Taylor of Mititai Rd said he hoped the smell would be kept to a minimum. He lives about 100m away from the boundary of the chicken farm.

"We're looking down on them. I am right on the boundary and I'd have preferred a bit more consultation prior to the company getting to this point in its consent application," he said.

Tegel spokeswoman Bridget Beaurepaire said the company was committed to working with the local community through the resource consent process.

"Tegel recognises its application to develop a state-of-the-art free-range broiler farm in Northland is of significant interest to the local community, and for this reason the company voluntarily sought public notification of its resource consent application.

"In addition, Tegel has consulted with all identified affected parties in accordance with the Resource Management Act. The publicly notified resource consent process will give any other interested parties the opportunity to make submissions," she said.

Tegel said a number of contaminants emitted from combustion of litter and LPG in the energy centre has the potential to cause adverse health effects if people were exposed at sufficiently high concentrations.

However, it said impacts on offsite air quality are predicted to be minimal and no discernible adverse effects on human health are anticipated.

Developing the proposed farm would require earthworks, the construction of the foundations and sheds, installation of infrastructure, stormwater system, wastewater treatment and disposal, rainwater storage tanks, groundwater bores, and a water treatment plant.

Tegel said between 20 and 64 locals would be employed during the construction phase and a further 32 fulltime jobs once the farm was running.

The chickens would be raised onsite and then transported to the Tegel processing facility in Henderson, West Auckland, for slaughtering, packaging and distribution.