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Raising the roof to spread message


- By Julia Wade

9 MF-Roofauction-361Thinking outside and above the four walls of her farm abode, a creative Mangawhai woman recently gave the local community a novel opportunity for advertising space by auctioning off her roof. 

Te Arai resident and Manga Mutt Park creator, Shelley Williams, offered up her 9m x 3.5m shed roof to the highest bidder via social media, the auction resulting in a raft of amusing online discussion and unusual bids including a blind spitting lama and one hairy goat.

“The shed lies under the flight path to most visitors being dropped off on the landscaped sheep paddock helipad at Tara Iti golf course and so will be clearly visible,” she says. “I thought it would be a great advertising opportunity to promote a business, a town, a cause, a belief or as an original exclusive gift for someone, as well as a bit of a fun thing for the community.” 

The opening bid began with $50 and a dozen beer followed by a variety of money offers and encouraging comments from enthusiastic bidders, although one participant curiously changed a previous bid of ‘$100 plus hairy goat’ to ‘$100, 20kg of chevon (goat meat) and a nice hairy floor mat’.

Williams says although she restricted the auction to Mangawhai residents, the recent visit from Barack Obama attracted unexpected attention from Republicans in America who were interested in displaying a slogan for the Democrat ex-president. 

“Really didn’t think interest would go that far but I wasn’t into that as he was a tourist in our country and we don’t criticise private visitors,” she says. “There was also private bids made on behalf of some of the mutts from Manga Mutt Park who wanted the slogan 'Dog owners only welcome here', in reference to the Obama family's dogs and Trumps lack of pets, knowing full well the current USA president's passion for golf...”  

The unique auction ended on March 23 with an anonymous local gifting the roof space and choice of slogan to environmental watchdogs, Save Te Arai (STA). Chair for the group, Aaron McConchie, says since the auction the committee have received a number of slogan suggestions from members. 

“They all have a common thread which align with STA’s philosophy and what we are trying to do. We’ll compile a list and after further deliberations possibly take it to the vote,” he says. “STA would like to say a huge thank you to Shelley and the anonymous bidder who gifted the roof space to us for the opportunity to extend our message.”

A birds eye view: Regular air traffic over Shelley Williams’ shed roof means Save Te Arai’s future message has potential to reach a large audience.

The Mangawhai Focus is the only 'Mangawhai' community Newspaper and is the paper of choice within the local area.

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