Rotorua man auctions arm for Christmas

By, Kristin Macfarlane

Until a few days ago, Evan Hutchinson had no job and no cash to spend on his family at Christmas.

He was on the benefit but wanted to provide a good Christmas for his partner and son - so he auctioned off his upper arm as advertising space on Trade Me in a bid to have some extra cash for the festive season.

Mr Hutchinson sold his blank skin for $455 and the man who won the auction, owner of New Zealand Riverjet Nick Berryman, has also offered Evan a job, which he started yesterday.

Evan, 25, said when he decided to list the auction in late November he did it to make some money and help make Christmas enjoyable for his son and his partner. The only condition of the auction was he would not get any profanity or names tattooed - he sold it as a chance to promote a company or artwork.

Evan, who was unemployed at the time, also agreed to donate 40 per cent of the winning bid to a charity chosen by the winner - all because he "wanted to do it in a way that wasn't greedy".

"I was just trying to make my family's Christmas better," Evan said.



"[I will be] able to afford some presents under the tree and a bit of tucker on the table," he said.

"And Nick gets lifetime advertising now."

The auction was due to close at 9.30pm on December 5 but instead closed at 9.59pm after a two-man bidding war kept forcing the auction to extend. In the last 10 minutes of the auction, it jumped from $361 to $455.

At the beginning of the auction period, Evan said he was unsure how it would turn out. He said he would check the auction every morning, refreshing the page constantly. When it reached $80 he was thinking it was "better than nothing".

On Thursday, Evan got the tattoo, which included the Riverjet logo and website and one of the activities, The Squeeze, etched on to his skin.

Mr Berryman said he was pleased with the auction and was happy to be able to advertise his business while also being able to help Evan in his time of financial difficulty.

On top of getting some money to spend on his family from the auction, Evan has also been given a job, which he started this week.

"He [Mr Berryman] actually got me off the benefit," Evan said.

Mr Berryman said he would often look at ways to support the community during the Christmas period and was glad to be in a position to help Evan and his family. Evan would be responsible for running some of his activities for his other businesses as well as some maintenance and grounds work.

"I was looking for someone and I'm pretty willing to give people a go.

"Evan seems a pretty genuine bloke, [glad] we can help him out."

When choosing a charity for 40 per cent of the winning bid to go towards, Mr Berryman said there was only one option. His charity of choice was Evan's family - he wrote out two cheques, one in the name of Evan and one in his partner's name.

"I'm not going to give it to someone else who hasn't earned it."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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