Hunting competition held for good cause

By Annette Taylor of

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Break out the Swannie and sharpen the knives - the Tauhei Wild Game Hunt and Fishing Competition is back again.

The unique country school fundraiser, now in its sixth year, sees young and old hunters vie for a number of champion titles and prizes over three days of hunting, shooting and fishing.

Last year more than $5000 was raised for the school, northeast of Hamilton. This year the money will help fund a reading recovery programme, as well as other school projects.

"We hope to complete work started upgrading an area around the swimming pool, so we can once again open our pool to the community next summer," says Rita Dewhurst, who is on the organising committee.

"There will be quite a bit of healthy competition going on, within families and friends. It's all fun, and is a great way to get people out into the outdoors rather than sitting in front of computers. And of course, it's wonderful for our school and community."

This year the competition starts at 1am on Friday, May 20 and ends at 4pm Sunday. The weigh-in takes place on Sunday from 3pm.

There are three cash prizes up for grabs and extra categories in the fishing section, including snapper and kahawai. Fishing has also been added to the junior section.

Contestants range from pre-schoolers to retired grandparents, with every age thrown in as well.

"They can be off eeling, shooting ducks, wild pigs, deer or fishing. People can go wherever they like in New Zealand, they just have to be back at the Tauhei Community Hall between 3-4pm on Sunday for the weigh-in, which is a real highlight."

Rita enjoys seeing the excitement on the faces of the younger hunters as they get to show off their prize catch.

"We also get the children to return live eels to the spot where they were caught."

While the weigh-in is taking place, refreshments will be on sale, including wild food delicacies.

Rita says it's the job of the new committee to keep the event going, and improving.

"It's our school's main fundraiser for the year, so it's fairly crucial. We value the help from families, teachers and friends in making it happen. There's a lot to be done - running the weigh-in, cooking wild game and selling raffle tickets, and all the other behind-the-scenes work. But it's a great community event and a great school."

For registration forms, rules and conditions of entry, phone 07 887 6844, email or visit

- Hamilton News

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