Chop chop to score a Trade Me bargain

23:54, May 24 2012
Tim Douglas-Clifford
NO HANDS: Helicopter pilot Tim Douglas-Clifford tries out the Simpit flight simulator programme for the trust's new BK 117 helicopter. A Simpit package is one of the items being auctioned on Trade Me.

It's not often you can win Nathan Fa'avae for a day but if you're the lucky bidder you can do just that, with the money going to a good cause, a $1.2 million cause to be exact.

The Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter's yearly costs have more than doubled this year with buying a new BK117 helicopter and the organisation is trying something different to raise the extra funds.

Marketing and communications manager Paula Muddle wanted to come up with a new and less time-consuming campaign.

"One of our winch operators is a bit of a Trade Me guru.

"So we thought we'd give Trade Me a whirl," Paula said.

The organisation has listed 32 items on the site; all but one starting at the low price of a dollar.


As Paula goes through the list of items up for auction, it is clear that they have something for everyone.

"We wanted to keep it relevant, a little bit of aviation and things like kite surfing because we saved a kite surfer this year.

"There's a one-of-a-kind experience donated by Air Nelson; you can sit in the flight deck in a Q300 for a return flight with a pilot.

"It's just something you can't buy and we thought it was just absolutely fantastic," she said. Other deals on offer include a couple of nights at a D'Urville Island wellness retreat and a Simpit flight simulator package where people can "experience" flying the trust's new chopper or a range of other aircraft.

Paula has her sights on the 12 hours of kite flying lessons but said that the ladies of Nelson may enjoy another item on the list.

"Nathan Fa'avae has donated himself for a day so all the ladies out there doing the Spring Challenge can bid on that and he'll do a navigation clinic and help them with some tips," she said.

She said some donated items were worth more than $1000.

The cost increase from $500,000 to $1.2 million is a result of new civil aviation rules and regulations which saw the organisation buy a new and bigger helicopter to comply with new rules.

All items for auction finish next Monday or Tuesday so go to and start bidding.