More than 800 possums, wallabies, rabbits and hares have been snuffed out by hunters of all ages.

The Mamaku Marsupial Marathon ran from May 17 to 20 and was the ninth annual Mamaku School fundraiser.

Teams were given three days to trap, shoot or poison as many possums and other marsupials as possible.

Mamaku School principal Gary Veysi said 25 teams had "eliminated" 614 possums, 101 wallabies and 86 rabbits and hares from around the area, the best in the event's history.

Advertisement

The marsupial marathon served a dual purpose; ridding the area of noxious pests and raising funds for the school.

Veysi said the event would raise between $5500 and $6000 for the school's sports committee.

A Canopy Tours representative talking about how they get rid of pests in Dansey Rd Reserve. Photo / Supplied
A Canopy Tours representative talking about how they get rid of pests in Dansey Rd Reserve. Photo / Supplied

This included money from entries, an auction and the sale of fur which had yet to happen.

"The committee was set up because we found some kids couldn't afford to get into sports so we help them with fees, and equipment," Veysi said.

The winning team was called the Fast and the Furriest and killed 148 possums.

The prizegiving was hosted by Rotorua Canopy Tours which has helped clear pests in Dansey Rd Scenic Reserve through a partnership with the Department of Conservation and New Zealand pest trap manufacturer Goodnature.

Younger pupils took part in the event by making bird houses. Photo / Supplied
Younger pupils took part in the event by making bird houses. Photo / Supplied

Younger pupils also took part in the competition with a colouring competition and art and technology projects such as bird houses, feeders and pest scarers.

The Government is aiming to eradicate pests by 2050 with its Predator Free 2050 goal.

Advertisement

Veysi said the school was also teaching pupils the reasons behind the challenge.

"There's always someone saying that it's terrible you're killing animals but possums and stoats and weasels are going to do more damage to native species if we don't.

"There are strict guidelines about killing in a humane way.

"We're trying to make sure the kids have got that balance between empathy, why we're doing it and making sure it's done in the right way for the right reasons."