Thousands of dung beetles are set to be released into the Mahia Peninsula as part of a Whangawehi Catchment Management Group initiative.

The dung beetles will be released at Te Mahia School with the aid of local school children tomorrow at 9.30am.

The farmer and Marae-led collective's project manager Nicolas Caviale-Delzescaux said the children involved in the release are part of the Hill Country Futures project's citizen science initiative.

Caviale-Delzescaux said: "Dung beetles are game changers. They will build and retain soils, integrate nutrients into the soil profile and cut off run-off at source within the paddocks.


"Releasing them complements all the hard work done by regional councils and community groups to plant riparian margins to reduce run-off reaching the streams."

Caviale-Delzescaux added: "Dung beetles will also help farm productivity by building healthy soils and disrupting nematode transmission between stock, so reduction in the need for fertiliser and drenches are likely in the long run."

The beetles will be placed in a "poo sandwich", consisting of poo piled up, a mass of beetles placed on top and a bucket of poo then dumped on their heads to prevent them flying away.

Whangawehi Catchment Management Group has also reached out to three ministers to attend the release.

The school kids have also set up a small terrarium in a classroom at Te Mahia School to see how dung beetles devour the poo and bury dung balls in tunnels.