Hearings on an application by processing company Tegel to build the largest broiler chicken farm in New Zealand with a capacity to stock up to 1.3 million chickens on just over 250 hectares of land at Mititai, Arapohue, will be held from August 8 at the Lighthouse Function Centre in Dargaville.
Three commissioners, have been selected, to be confirmed by Kaipara District Council at a meeting on June 26.
When lodged, the Tegel application was met with resistance by some community groups, and more than 5,000 submissions were received at the March 7 closing date by the KDC and Northland Regional Council, with only 17 in favour of the proposal. Many submissions in opposition were provided through a Greenpeace website. In all, 344 submitters have indicated they want to be heard.
Tegel claims the proposed $80 million venture will create 32 jobs and benefit the Kaipara economy by $2.3m a year.
Prior to announcing a hearings date, KDC and NRC asked Tegel to supply a further cultural impact assessment of effects on Kapehu Marae and the associated burial ground. The proposed farm will sit five metres from the marae.
The request also asks Tegel to supply an alternative location along with further details regarding the positive economic effects, noise and vibration, antimicrobial resistance, an assessment of the proposed flood control work, further information from an odour expert and lastly information relating to the effects of the proposed flood control work on State Highway 12.
Section 6.3.1 of Tegel’s application suggested there would be increased employment during the construction period, estimating tens of millions of dollars would be injected into the local construction and contracting industry and for approximately 32 full-time workers. However, the letter sent to Tegel states there was no detail or technical evidence provided to justify these statements.
Rosie Donovan of the Dargaville Chicken Farm Community Information group said the group supports the use of individual commissioners.
“We’ve been pleased with the way the consent authorities have been processing the application.
“We thought that the application was deficient in some areas. We’re pleased to see that the councils are requesting further information, but this makes it hard for the submitters to address the application when that information wasn’t originally provided. Submitters did make it clear to councils that the cultural impact assessment needed to be included.”