A Trade Me auction inspired by the man who climbed on and broke a $300,000 sculpture on the Wellington waterfront is advertising "handy wallet-sized 'idiot' warnings signs".

Police have confirmed they are laying a wilful damage charge against a 28-year-old man for breaking the Len Lye sculpture on Monday.

Local man Hunter MacDonald has publicly admitted to being the person filmed climbing the Water Whirler earlier this week, bending it until it broke.

MacDonald was hit on the head by the pole before falling into the water on Monday, leaving him with a gash in his head. He was treated in hospital for his injuries.


MacDonald has not responded to Herald requests for an interview, but in a video supplied to Stuff he said he was bored at the time and wanted to practice his gymnastics.

The auction advertises a handy
The auction advertises a handy "idiot" sign to keep in your wallet. Photo / Supplied

"A crowd started to form, sort of egging me on ... I was sort of taking it further and further seeing how high I could go, seeing how far I could push the sculpture."

In another video supplied to One News, he said there "wasn't a sign that says don't climb".

His comments have prompted the Trade Me auction for a business card-sized signs "suitable for bored public gymnasts".

"Are you the sort of happy-go-lucky punter who likes a bit of an audience and will give anything a go? When you're bored do you find yourself performing public gymnastics, and accidentally giving yourself head wounds?

"Have you found yourself responsible for $300,000 damage bills, just because there wasn't a sign telling you not to?

"Don't you wish you had some sort of permanent reminder not to be an idiot?"

The seller, Hamilton man Max Johns, tells potential buyers to "wish no longer", as the signs can be used as a permanent reminder.

The signs can be carried around in a wallet, meaning you have a reminder with you at all times. Photo / Supplied
The signs can be carried around in a wallet, meaning you have a reminder with you at all times. Photo / Supplied

He promises to solve all the buyer's troubles, excluding "possible criminal and financial charges resulting from any freestyle climbing you may have recently attempted on the Wellington Waterfront."

"Even better, it fits in your wallet - so long as you haven't lost your wallet in the ocean."

In the questions and answers section of the auction, someone asked whether MacDonald had been nominated for the Darwin Award yet.

"We believe that Hunter MacDonald is still, for better or for worse, alive and able to breed which makes him ineligible for the Darwins," Johns responded.

"But Wellington has a lot more public art and open bodies of water so we'll be watching his progress closely."

Johns told the Herald his theory was that the types of people who needed reminding not to be an idiot, were also the types of people who wouldn't read a warning sign if it was there.

"Then I thought maybe if there was a sign that he had with him at all times, you wouldn't need to look around and it might work a little better."

If someone could afford to have someone follow them around wearing a T-shirt reminding them not to be an idiot, that would also work, he said.

"I think what you need more than reminders though are friends to let you know not to be an idiot as well."

Max Johns was inspired by Hunter MacDonald's comments that there
Max Johns was inspired by Hunter MacDonald's comments that there "wasn't a sign" saying not to climb the sculpture. Photo / Supplied

Johns said if anyone was wondering and unsure whether they needed the idiot signs, they definitely needed it.

Trade Me spokeswoman Millie Silvester said they loved seeing members getting creative and jumping on something topical.

"Since it was listed at 4pm on Tuesday the listing has already fetched 1800 views," she said.

"This seller obviously has a sense of humour and it's great to see they're having a bit of fun with their listing.

"This isn't the first time one of our members has jumped on something topical. Earlier this year after the Australian cricket team came under fire for ball tampering, one member listed a strip of sandpaper onsite as 'Australian sports tape'. The listing had over 260,000 views and 1900 watch lists before it sold for $58.

"We can't remember seeing a wallet-sized idiot warning sign onsite before. These little cards might come in handy for a cheeky secret Santa gift this year."

Meanwhile MacDonald's actions have "touched a nerve" with local museums.

Wellington Museum, which is based on the waterfront, posted a photo on Twitter of a sign reading "You bored, Hunter? Why not visit a museum? (Just don't touch anything)."

Spokesman Tom Etuata said some of the museum staff were angry about the incident, and couldn't understand how MacDonald could be bored on the waterfront, as there were many places to visit and many things to do.