Birds Of A Feather Stick Together


PetaBerryArticle17June2014Patumahoe will have another intensive poultry farm notch on its belt if the Craddock Farms Ltd resource consent application is approved. The application is to build ten sheds each housing over thirty thousand caged chickens at any given time. With a total of 310,000 chickens this will be one of, if not the biggest intensive poultry farm in New Zealand. Surprising as this comes at a time when the global demand for any caged product is declining. Specifically the social appetite for caged eggs is waning and in New Zealand there are some cases where supermarkets (including Countdown) are reacting to social pressure and banning these products from their shelves. Kudos to them.

Currently there are between 125-140 poultry farms providing eggs for local consumption and a small amount for export. In terms of volumes this is more than one billion eggs or a retail value of $286 million a year. Of those more than 80% of the egg farms are caged – that’s over 2.5 million caged chickens just in the egg industry.

The Patumahoe village already has a broiler operation right in the heart of the township. There have been significant efforts to have this shut down as it is offensive by nature but also it flies in the face of the rural community atmosphere. Patumahoe is an up and coming area that has recently been part of a developmental program to help accommodate the growing wider Auckland region, particularly for those who prefer the country lifestyle. New residents are looking for access to all the surrounding ‘big city’ facilities whilst having a corner of bliss right at their doorstep. Another farm of this nature in Patumahoe will easily dispel these beliefs. This will prevent families like the ones already living here, from choosing Patumahoe as the preferred place to live.

It is an indictment on our council that they consider that the community itself not relevant enough to include in this type of decision making. An operation like this affects the entire community not just those who live on its boundary. No one wants to live next to this type of operation but it begs the question – how close is too close?

Printed at the request of Peta Berry, resident of Patumahoe
Post originally published on 17 June 2014, on FaceBook