Buyers' bids raise $60,000 from Rena clean-up gear

By Julia Proverbs

Equipment used in the Rena clean-up has gone under the hammer, fetching more than $60,000.

The new and used goods, including 1500 shovels, 2500 gumboots, 2000 rakes and 18 paddling pools was auctioned by Turners on behalf of Maritime New Zealand, attracting a crowd of 200 people.

Turners branch manager Carl Jarmin said 95 per cent of the goods were sold during the three-hour auction, with buyers from as far afield as Wanganui, New Plymouth, Palmerston North and Auckland.

Negotiations were continuing over the remaining "specialty products".

The largest single items to sell were pallets of absorbent, for $550 each. Among the more obscure items were penguin catcher nets, sold to a Catholic church, he said.

Thomas Taite was at the auction to buy shovels, rakes and timber, for a communal vegetable garden and to upgrade the homes of his elders on family land at Mangatawa. He also managed to acquire a fridge-freezer that was gifted to him when it failed to sell.

"You've just got to put your imagination to it and think what it could all be used for," he said.

"It's going really cheap."

Darryl King, who has a four hectare lifestyle block at Ohauiti, was there to buy timber and cloth to screen his fruit trees.

Maritime New Zealand spokesman Steve Rendle said the money would help offset the cost of the response.

"We're pleased with the outcome. It was a market situation and the market paid what it deemed was a good price," he said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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