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Largest Online Charity Auction Helps Save Maritime


Trade Me, New Zealand’s busiest online auction site, is hosting an online charity auction to raise funds to help restore the world’s only double-ended steam ferry, the SS Toroa.

The electronic catalogue is valued at over two hundred thousand dollars and includes a $14,000 diamond ring, a car, overseas travel and a Harley Davidson bike. All people have to do is log on to The bidding starts on May 15th and runs until the 22nd.

In its heyday the ferry carried 20,000 commuters a day across Auckland harbour. More recently it came to national attention when it was a set for the Shortland Street characters Lionel, Carmen and Guy.

Auction organiser and ferry restorer, Mike Dimond, spent six months accumulating the catalogue. He says all the contributors have been very generous, and keen to preserve the country's maritime history.

“We’ve got a wealth of items ranging from a $100,000 luxury cruiser, sports books signed by Mathew Ridge, Sir Edmund Hillary, and Murray Deaker, and family passes to Auckland attractions, to deep sea fishing tackle, even wine. There’s something to suit everyone, ” says Mike.

“I’ve run my own auctions on Trade Me before and really enjoyed it. It’s very exciting seeing the bidding escalate, and I thought by going online and making the auction nationwide we'd raise the most possible amount of money."

Trade Me is a free online classified ad and auction site and since it started last March has already auctioned cars, overseas holidays, art and computers. With twelve thousand members, and around 70 new ones joining every day, it's one of New Zealand's top ten sites.

"Hopefully we'll give the Toroa Preservation Society the best possible audience for their auction and help them achieve their dream of having the ferry ply Auckland harbour again,” says 24-year-old Sam Morgan, creator of Trade Me.

For more details contact Mike Dimond, or tel: (hm) (09) 444 1836, (wk) (09) 446 6127 or (025) 215 0868, or Sam Morgan, or tel 025 735 673.

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