The Umawera Hall's Kid's Pest Hunt, which began on Thursday and wound up on Sunday, should have made a significant dent in the local possum population.

The hunt was not only about reducing some the possum population, which is doing as much damage to native forest in and around Umawera as anywhere, but also about teaching the next generation about pest control, including how to trap and kill pest quickly and humanely, while supporting a worthy cause.

Proceeds went towards the maintenance of the local community-owned hall, currently in need of some serious investment.

The hall is the focal point for the community, the venue for events ranging from school holiday programmes, the local show day and school productions to funerals birthdays and the Umawera Playcentre.


Prizes were presented on Sunday in categories including most possums, the heaviest and best-dressed possums, along with turkeys, peacocks, rabbits/hares and eels.

The winners included:

Heaviest possum - Beau Edwards 1, Harry Harrison 2, Rene Whittaker 3.
Peacock - Jamie Wells 1, Harry Harrison 2, Max Jordan 3.
Turkey - Harry Thomas 1, Bohemia Sanders 2, Xavier Biggs 3.
Hare/rabbit - Leo Whittaker 1, Sophie McCarthy 2, Byron Menefy 3.
Eel - Rene Whittaker 1, Byron Menefy 2, Millar Sturge 3.
Most possums - Harry Harrison.
Best-dressed possums - Callum Avery and Abby Low.