25 Jul 2018

Tegel suspends plans to build mega chicken farm

10:05 pm on 25 July 2018

Poultry giant Tegel has suspended its application to build the country's biggest chicken farm in Northland.

A view of Maungaraho near Arapohue.

A view of Maungaraho near Arapohue. Photo: Supplied

Tegel had applied for resource consents to raise nine million birds a year, partly in barns, 12 kilometres south of Dargaville, near the Northern Wairoa River. It wanted to build 32 poultry sheds on former dairy farm land at Arapohue.

In a memorandum, Tegel asked the Northland Regional Council and Kaipara District Council to suspend its application so it could respond to concerns outlined in their reports.

"The reports contained a constructive assessment of the application and in particular raise some issues that require further work.

"In order to respond to some of the constructive points raised, more time is required to obtain the information required to address those points and ensure the commissioners have the best available information."

The councils have accepted the suspension request.

In its original plans, sheds for the farm would be almost as long as a rugby field and 20 metres wide. They would be stocked with 1.3 million chickens at a time.

In its application, Tegel planned to incinerate the waste and make the farm self-sufficient in energy.

The Kaipara community opposes the farm, citing concerns around noise, smell, pollution and possible effects on property values in the small rural community.

Nearby Kāpehu marae also opposes the development, which would adjoin its urupa (cemetery).

A hearing scheduled for 8 August will also be postponed.

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