A Tauranga man has listed his brain on Trade Me for $1.36 million after being diagnosed with a killer disease.

To be clear, it's not Ross Maginness' actual brain up for sale, but sole rights to the ideas within.

"Intellectual investments", the eccentric Tauranga 57-year-old calls them - movies, businesses, a motorsport event, innovations, books and more that he says could be worth billions if fully realised.

"INVESTMENT GOLD," reads the listing, due to expire on May 4.


In addition to the intellectual property, the buyer would also get him - Ross Maginness, father-of-two, self-described "mad professor-type", motorsport enthusiast and lifelong ideas generator - to manage and develop the plans over a seven-year period.

Provided he lived that long.

After 40 years of smoking, Maginness was recently diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - the fourth leading cause of death in New Zealand, according to the Asthma Foundation.

Maginness said the diagnosis changed everything for him.

After years of nurturing and protecting and toying with his ideas he realised he may not have the time to see them through.

He said he wanted to leave a legacy for his two children - Jack, 13, and Mia, 10 - not of money, but of his creations.

"What I care about is my children seeing something their papa produced. That is worth trillions to me."

Maginness said he had always had an unusual talent for idea generation, which he believed stemmed from a childhood head injury.


"The ideas just come. I wake up in the middle of the night and think 's***, why don't we do this with tea towels?'

"To be honest sometimes I just want to turn it off. It gets cluttered."

He says a lack of time, money and connections - as well as habitual procrastination - had stood in the way of him making one of his ideas the success he believes each could be.

"I don't have the money or the connections. I am just some old git from Matua - you've got to be somebody to make things happen.

"I should have done this better but I tend to leave things to the last minute. Now that I'm dying there's a rush."

He has owned businesses in the past, not all of them successful. He said most recently he owned and operated a Tauranga motel from 2013 to 2016.

The listing on TradeMe. Screenshot/trademe.co.nz
The listing on TradeMe. Screenshot/trademe.co.nz

Maginness said he knew the idea to sell his brain would seem a bit mad to most people.

But he truly believed there was a person - a billionaire, an entrepreneur - somewhere in the world with the resources to make a killing off his bright ideas and make them real for his children - if only they would back him.

"I'm a good bloke but I'm a bit crazy. I'm a bright bastard and I understand things.

"My dream is to work for a company who can handle my ideas. I want these acorns to grow into trees."