John Key dirties his hands for Movember

01:53, Nov 08 2012
john key movember
MO AUCTION: Prime Minister John Key contributes a painting to the Movember cause.

A few famous Kiwi men got their hands dirty to help with Timaru's Movember fundraising effort - among them, Prime Minister John Key.

Mr Key, along with coach and former All Black John Kirwan, boxing champion Shane "Mountain Warrior" Cameron and rally driver Hayden Paddon, showed his artistic side by painting a Movember portrait and donating the artwork to the local fundraising network, TiMOru.

TiMOru coordinator Richard Brown said he sent emails to about 10 prominent New Zealand men in July, asking them to contribute a Movember portrait. He received six responses, and sent each of those men a packet containing the necessary art supplies, a postage paid return envelope and a letter with instructions.

john key movember artwork
SIGNED: John Key's signature on his Movember painting.

''I would like you to paint a moustache on the canvas supplied,'' it read. ''I have included some paint and would love for you to finger-paint a mo - Kiwi men are known for getting their hands dirty!''

The artists were asked to sign their work and enclose photos documenting the process. The portraits have been framed and were each listed for auction on TradeMe this week at a starting price of $1.

As of 12pm Thursday, the bidding for Mr Key's painting had reached $250. Each of the others were still listed at the bargain price of less than $30.

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All proceeds go toward the TiMOru network's fundraising campaign, which had already collected more than $5,000 in the first full week of the month.

Last year the network raised $25,000 for the men's health issues of depression and prostate cancer.

Fellow TiMOru network member Angus Westgarth, who has been monitoring the TradeMe auctions, said he was pleased with the level of interest so far but disappointed that some people posted politically-charged comments on the listing for Mr Key's artwork.

''People should remember that it's for charity, regardless of their political opinions,'' he said.

The auctions close on Friday, November 16 at 8.30pm.

To view the artworks, go online to trademe.co.nz and search the term ''mo'' in the ''Art'' category of the auction site.

Mr Key's painting is listed at www.trademe.co.nz/art/paintings/portrait/other/auction-530969515.htm

The Timaru Herald