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Tegel to consult on chicken farm

Kaipara Mayor Jason Smith talks to protestors outside the council building

Poultry producer giant Tegel will be holding a public information forum in Dargaville on its planned broiler chicken farm at Arapohue, after being approached by Northland’s National MP Matt King.

Tegel has confirmed it will hold this forum on Monday, March 19 from 10-2pm, and the community is invited to meet with company specialists in various fields and ask them questions directly.

Mr King was waiting to receive confirmation on the venue as this edition went to press.

Tegel wants to construct a broiler chicken farm with a capacity to stock up to 1.3 million chickens and employ 32 people on just over 250 hectares of land at Arapohue, 16km south of Dargaville. 

In its resource consent application, Tegel stated each of the 32 sheds, housing the birds, would be 20m wide by 130m long and 4.5m high.

Broiler chickens would be trucked to Tegel’s processing plant in Henderson, for slaughtering, packaging and distribution.

Mr King will be the facilitator and says he’s organising the meeting with Tegel; so the public can get all the facts and information they need to make a balanced decision, when making a public submission about the project.

“When there’s no information available, people fill that vacuum with guesses and outright lies. I want people to have the facts so people can judge for themselves.”

Mr King says those feeling pressed for time to make a submission, can ask to make a verbal submission.

“These submissions are heard within 90 days from the submission close date and this gives people a chance to prepare and gather more detail.”

The Tegel meetings follow a protest of about 80 people outside the Kaipara District Council building last Thursday. Protesters also marched down the main street on Monday. The group waved banners and held placards addressing a number of concerns including: the potential odour, air pollution and loss of jobs from neighbouring farms.

Mayor Jason Smith, encouraged people to make their voices heard through submissions.

“Many people are telling me they reject the proposal and many others tell me they support it. I am delighted people want their voices to be heard and are engaging with the process.”

Protester, Lyn Vincent, has farmed near the proposed site for 50 years and is concerned her organic vegetable farm will lose certification if Tegel’s application goes ahead.

“If this proposal goes through, the organic auditors have said we will be under close scrutiny and have a 99 per cent chance of losing our certification in the future. This will see all our workers out of a job. Tegel are telling us they will create jobs, however, we may have to unemploy more than they will ever Tegel to consult on chicken farm … continued from front pageemploy from the local community.” At the time of writing, the Northland Regional Council had received 27 submissions and KDC had received 16.

Submissions close at 4.30pm on Wednesday, March 7. Further information about the proposed farm and how to make a submission is available at nrc.co.nz or visit kaipara.org.
 

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