July 26, 2012
Radio Network House, Christchurch. Photo: stuff.co.nz
Anyone with deep pockets and a bent to blow up a building without being arrested will have the chance to detonate explosives on the 14-storey Radio Network House in Christchurch's earthquake-ravaged city centre.
The button pushing rights for New Zealand's first ever building implosion on August 5 have been put up for auction on Trade Me's online site on Tuesday to raise money for restoring Canterbury heritage buildings.
Bids have now reached $30,000, and the auction will close at 6.05pm on August 1. The winning bid will go to the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund, the demolition contractors Naylor Love and Ceres NZ have decided.
Because the government has pledged to match dollar-for-dollar what the fund raises up to a maximum $NZ10 million ($7.74 million), the final bid price will be doubled.
Contractor Naylor Love's regional manager Pete Lockhart sald the winning bid would go towards restoration of the city's Isaac Theatre Royal and the matching government donation will go towards other restoration projects.
The implosion, costing the building's insurer $NZ1 million, is expected to reduce it to rubble in 7.7 seconds.
While other Christchurch buildings have been demolished by bulldozers and wrecking balls, implosion was chosen for Radio Network House to save time and because there are not many other buildings nearby, the contractors say.
Trade Me is owned by Fairfax Media, publisher of this website.