Protesters have gathered outside Auckland's Environment Court this morning to oppose plans to build one of the largest caged chicken farms in New Zealand.
Craddock Farms wants to build a colony cage-egg farm, but have come up against strong opposition from locals and activists.
Today, the Environment Court will hear Craddock Farms' proposal to build a farm with a capacity of 310,000 chickens in Patumahoe, south of Auckland.
Each chicken would have the space of an A4 piece of paper.
Auckland City Council declined Craddock Farms' application for resource consent earlier this year based on concerns about odour affecting the township. That decision was appealed, prompting today's hearing, which could last seven days.
Craddock Farms has adjusted its plans by adding around 120 10 centimetre chimney stacks to its buildings to avoid odour issues.
"The proposed factory farm will be one of the biggest of its kind in our country, confining 310,000 hens to cruel colony cages.
"I'm hoping to confront Stefan Craddock this morning and ask him how he sleeps at night knowing 310,000 hens will suffer horribly in his cruel cages if the plan goes ahead," says Stop Craddock Farms spokesperson Deirdre Sims.
"Overseas trends show countries like Austria, Germany and Switzerland are already phasing out colony cages while we fall behind. If we can stop this farm being built, that will go a long way towards getting rid of cages in our country," says Ms Sims.
Around 70 protesters were outside the Environment Court this morning, holding placards and shouting "Craddock Farms! Shut them down!" for an hour.