Demolition firms wary of Trade Me

CHARLIE GATES
Last updated 07:36 20/12/2012

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Christchurch demolition companies rejected an approach from the Government and Trade Me to sell salvaged goods on the auction website.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) approached demolition companies in March with a Trade Me offer to sell salvaged goods at discounted fees.

Demolition company Nikau rejected the offer because it gives goods salvaged from the central Christchurch red zone to charities and schools.

Most demolition contracts give demolition companies the right to salvage goods and materials from buildings they bring down.

Nikau senior project manager John Paul Stil said he felt the offer was an attempt to monitor demolition items.

"We don't like seeing earthquake items on Trade Me. We usually give away a lot or donate a lot to schools," he said.

"It didn't work for us. It felt more like it was monitoring what was sold."

A Christchurch figure close to the demolition industry, who did not want to be named, also raised concerns.

"Demolition companies definitely weren't interested in that because salvage is a big part of what they do. They hope to get money back on what they salvage," he said.

"It felt like Cera wanted to cut in on that revenue."

A Cera spokeswoman said: "Demolition companies advised us that it was their preference that they manage their own arrangements with Trade Me and have done so."

A Trade Me spokesman said Cera was involved only to introduce the auction company to demolition firms.

"Cera know the demolition companies, so we asked them to introduce us. There was no clipping of the ticket from Cera," he said.

The demolition companies would have been offered discounted Trade Me fees, he said.

"We thought it would be a nice thing to do. We thought that recycling the goods from town would be a good thing," he said.

"It wasn't an attempt to grab at their revenue stream. If they are not into it, that is their call.

"There was never any revenue going to Cera."

The Trade Me spokesman had been running a pilot scheme selling salvaged goods from one Canterbury company since May. "We're keen to expand it and we're talking to Cera about that and a bunch of other projects.

"We will look to expand it, but in the meantime if there are any contractors keen to get selling on Trade Me, they should get in touch."

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- The Press

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