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Silver Lining to Marmite Scarcity for Christchurch Charity

20 November 2012

Silver Lining to Marmite Scarcity for Christchurch Charity

The Rebuild Christchurch Foundation has found a novel way to raise funds this Christmas, through auctioning photographs of empty Marmite jars donated by New Zealand celebrities including Rachel Hunter, Sir Graham Henry, Jaquie Brown and Trelise Cooper.

Renowned Kiwi photographer Chris Sisarich, whose work has been exhibited at the MILK Gallery in New York, is collaborating with celebrities and the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation to capture images of 19 empty Marmite jars for a charity auction.

“The imagery inside each jar is extremely distinctive, it’s more than just an empty Marmite jar” says Chris. “It’s evident that everyone has been scraping at the bottom to get every last bit out – I know I have – and I hope that other Kiwis are taking a moment to reflect on the difficulties of the past two years for Christchurch as they reach the bottom of their jars.

“It fascinates me that something like Marmite, which is part of the daily routine for many Kiwis has been elevated to the realm of artwork since the shortage. It shows just how iconic Marmite is in New Zealand.”

One original photograph of each celebrity’s Marmite jar will be framed with a signed lid, ready for auction via from 30 November to 9 December. Bidding for the artwork is expected to be fierce, but everyone can contribute with limited edition prints available for $25 from 20 November to 9 December. All proceeds will go to the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation.

One Kiwi happy to help is Greer Robson-Kirk, who says, “I love indulging in Marmite, so it was great to be able to donate my jar for a good cause. Knowing that the savoured last jar sitting humbly in the pantry is now being used to raise funds for Christchurch families at Christmas is a fantastic feeling.”

Deon Swiggs of the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation says, “We are delighted to be partnering with Marmite lovers to raise funds for our Christmas initiative. Many people in Christchurch are continuing to struggle following the earthquakes and can’t provide a Christmas celebration for their family as they have in the past.

“We will be working with social agencies to help families who need assistance but normally wouldn’t ask for it. Last Christmas we helped 76 families and this year we hope to support over 300.”

General Manager for Sanitarium New Zealand, Pierre van Heerden, says, “It is wonderful to see these last, treasured Marmite reserves used to raise funds for the Christchurch community, especially as the current shortage results from earthquake damage to the factory.”

About the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation
The Rebuild Christchurch Foundation was set up to support and bring together the communities of Christchurch and Canterbury following the 2010-11 earthquakes. By providing up to date information online, from the organisations involved in the rebuild and community groups, the Rebuild Christchurch website has become known as the “Voice and Ears of Christchurch”. For the second year running the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation will be initiating ‘Project Christmas’, which aims to help families who are struggling to provide a Christmas for their family. Find out more about the Rebuild Christchurch Foundation at or on Rebuild Christchurch’s Facebook page.

A List of Celebrities who have Donated Marmite Jars
• Rachel Hunter
• Marc Ellis
• Paul Ego
• Jaquie Brown
• Annah Mac
• John Kirwan
• Graham Henry
• Colin Meads
• Trelise Cooper
• Stacey Morrison
• Jon Toogood
• Alison Shanks
• Iva Lamkum
• Kathryn Wilson
• Ben Barrington
• Chelsea Winter
• Greer Robson-Kirk
• Daniela Smith
• Stu Tolan


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