Slippery slope for Trade Me

21:10, Dec 06 2013
SLIDING IN: A three-storey slide been installed in the new Trade Me offices at the Market Lane construction site.

Trade Me staff could soon be in for a big come-down.

An intricately engineered spiral three-storey stainless steel slide, which will be a centrepiece of its new Wellington head office, was hoisted on to the Market Ln building site today.

When staff finally get into their offices in May, they will be able to hurtle down from the fifth floor to the third floor in seconds.

Two cranes were needed to lift the 9-metre-high 3-tonne slide and spiral staircase into the Market Ln podium yesterday morning.

Engineer Bill Martel, of Plimmerton- based Metalmorphic, whose company made the slide, said it was a huge 500-piece three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle.

It took six months to design and took four tradesmen six weeks to make it. No two pieces were the same, and it was so complex that it could not have been done without a computer, he said.


The slide, which varies in slope from 31 to 36 degrees - a variation required to provide extra headroom in one section - was modelled on a smaller spiral slide built into the present Trade Me offices in the Xero building.

Trade Me company secretary Sara Hard was unwilling to disclose how much the slide, and two other single- storey slides, were costing, but said it was worth it.

The company would have needed internal stairs in its new offices anyway, and it was a beautiful piece, she said.

"It's a combination of efficient and quirky - slightly odd, but fun, and a reflection of the Trade Me wacky and vibrant way."

Trade Me chief operating officer Mike O'Donnell said Mr Martel was "a master craftsman and nothing short of a local legend".

"In total, the project is the sort of thing that could only happen in Wellington, combining creativity, technical excellence and a pleasing touch of madness."

Trade Me is taking three floors in the $75 million Market Ln retail, office and apartment complex being developed by Willis Bond. Willis Bond director David McGuinness said the L T McGuinness construction team was planning extensive trials. Fairfax NZ

The Dominion Post