Students' novel approach to fundraising

The jar of 'Smokey Marmite', retrieved from the burnt flat.
The jar of 'Smokey Marmite', retrieved from the burnt flat.
The burnt kitchen of the Morris St flat.
The burnt kitchen of the Morris St flat.
The burnt jar of Marmite with other damaged goods.
The burnt jar of Marmite with other damaged goods.
The burnt out flat on Morris St.
The burnt out flat on Morris St.
Four of the students outside their gutted flat; Tom Nelson, left, Hogan Gill, Clark Williams and Jerram Tuck.
Four of the students outside their gutted flat; Tom Nelson, left, Hogan Gill, Clark Williams and Jerram Tuck.

An online auction of a burnt jar of Marmite by a group of Palmerston North students has gone viral, with tens of thousands of people viewing the Trade Me listing in just a few hours.

The six men who were left homeless following a suspicious fire at their flat are auctioning off the Marmite to help raise money.

The listing had only attracted a few hundred views early on Wedneday, but that had skyrocketed to more than 87,000 by 6am Thursday.

The fire on August 31 badly damaged the Morris St house and it will have to be demolished.

On Trade Me, one of the students, Jerram Tuck, is selling what he calls ‘‘Smokey Marmite’’ to help get them all back on their feet and studying.

‘‘Essentially everything in the house is a write off - if the fire didn’t get to it then the heat melted it or smoke rendered it so stanky that it’ll never be used again,’’ the ad says.

‘‘Fortunately however, this 500g jar of Marmite survived with only minor smoke damage to the exterior. It is still half full of delicious Marmite goodness!’’

The auction closes on Monday, with the leading bid at $130.

Manawatu Standard