Auction to push detonation button exceeds $15K

ANNA TURNER
Last updated 05:00 25/07/2012
Daniel Tobin

The Press is shown inside Radio Network House as it is prepared for implosion on August 5.

RADIO NETWORK HOUSE: New Zealand's first building implosion is the subject of an online auction.
RADIO NETWORK HOUSE: New Zealand's first building implosion is the subject of an online auction.

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An online auction allowing people to bid for the chance to blow up Christchurch's 14-storey Radio Network House reached over $15,000 overnight.

At 12.14am, Trade Me member brendo12 was leading the bidding war after placing a $15,450 bid.

Naylor Love and Ceres New Zealand, which are responsible for the demolition, said yesterday that the chance to initiate New Zealand's first building implosion would be auctioned on Trade Me, with funds going towards the restoration of the Isaac Theatre Royal in Gloucester St, central Christchurch.

The auction went live at 11am, starting with a $1 reserve.

The implosion of the building will take place at 8am on August 5 and use about 63 kilograms of explosives.

Ceres long-term recovery manager Bill Johnson said they had considered selling the rights to push the button for some time, but had first needed to work out the logistics.

"We had calls from random people putting bids in over the phone before we even announced an auction. There was one offering of $6000 and a follow-up one with a few conditions for $10,000," he said. "Maybe some of these people could now get in early with some bids and step up to the plate. It's quite a special opportunity. We think there will be a lot of interest."

Isaac Theatre Royal general manager Neil Cox said he was "totally happy" about the auction.

Insurance would cover most of the $28 million needed to cover the repairs and rebuild of the theatre, he said.

The theatre had raised $2m with another $3.5m needed.

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