A reminder of the 2011 Rena maritime disaster has popped up on Trade Me and already looks set to beat old online auction records for the city.
An original lifeboat from the stricken Rena cargo ship which grounded on the Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga in 2011 was listed last week and the auction runs until Sundayevening.
The auction has met its $1 reserve and as of this morning the leading bid was $4010.
For close to five years, the iconic lifeboat has been a centrepiece in Pāpāmoa's popular bar The Island - previously the Pāpāmoa Tavern - as a children's playground.
It was gifted to the business when it first opened.
Since the lifeboat was put up for auction on Thursday, it has had more than 59,500 views and 139 bids and been added to 1200 watchlists.
This is not the first time a Rena lifeboat has been listed on Trade Me. A different lifeboat listed in 2012 sold for more than $20,000 to raise funds for the Child Cancer Foundation.
Kerry Bollen has worked at the bar since it opened four and a half years ago and said the main reason for bidding farewell to the relic was their rebranding to The Island as well as the health and safety aspect for children.
"At the end of the day, it's a lifeboat ... it just wasn't safe enough for the kids."
It will replaced with two new play areas - one for older children and a soft playground for under-2s.
Bollen said they did not know what to expect when they put the historic artefact up for auction and had no expectations of how much money would be brought in from the bidding.
While she was unsure if the lifeboat was the same as the one sold in 2012, she was blown away to see how much it had sold for, and said the bar was unsure at this stage where the money would go.
"We've had lots of parents saying - 'I can't believe you're selling the Rena, the kids have seen it out the front, they're all worried, why's it going?'"
She said the excitement the children got from it was a "great memory" and hoped whoever won the auction was able to get as much joy out of it as it had provided at the bar.
Hoping to win the auction is Tauranga's Sam Dowdall, who wants to turn the lifeboat into emergency accommodation for a family of up to six.
There would be a collaboration on the not-for-profit dream with like-minded tradesmen and businesses, he said.
Dowdall has set up a Givealittle page to buy and fit out the boat, with all spending of the funds being made public.
If his bid is unsuccessful, all donations will be donated to Street Kai, a non-profit homelessness advocacy group in the city.
Trade Me spokeswoman Ruby Topzand said the 2012 Rena auction received almost 75,000 views, "making it Tauranga's most popular auction of all time".
She expected the latest listing to give the previous record-holder a run for its money.
"With six days left onsite, we would not be surprised to see it fetch well
over 75,000 views this time around," she said on Monday.
Topzand said auctions for items tied to historic New Zealand events often had a lot of interest.