'Unused bucket for Wayne Brown' sells on Trade Me following flood response fiasco

A tongue-in-cheek Trade Me auction aimed at giving Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown a helping hand after the city's devastating floods has finished.

A listing for an "unused bucket for Wayne Brown" popped up on Trade Me last week, with the seller saying they expect it to stay unused under Brown's care. The auction finished on Sunday afternoon and the bucket sold for $125.

The auction was a dig at the Mayor, who said it was "not my job to rush out with buckets" at a media stand-up following a state of emergency declaration for Auckland.

Four people were killed in flash floods and landslides that hit Auckland beginning last Friday, as torrential rainfall caused what is being described as the biggest weather event in New Zealand's history.

Brown received a lot of criticism after his noted media absence and delay in declaring a state of emergency, with someone even starting a petition to remove him from office. The Mayor has since apologised for how the emergency was handled.

This prompted Trade Me seller James Charlton to list an unused green bucket for auction. The $125 raised from it will go to the Auckland City Mission's flood response fund.

The listing said the bucket will be given to Brown along with "simple" instructions for its use.

"The bucket has never been used and we expect it will remain this way while Brown is Mayor!" the listing said.

"It comes with a sturdy handle so that Wayne can easily pass it along bucket chains - although we recognise that participation in team efforts is not the Mayor's forte.  

"Capacity: the bucket holds 9ltr or approximately 9kg of water. We realise that this might be a little heavy for some, but given the strength and stamina the Mayor has built up playing tennis we think he can handle it.

"Its calm green colour is intended to remind the Mayor that unless we address climate change he is going to need a lot more buckets like this!

"Disclaimer. Like most politicians, the actual product colour may vary from the images shown."

Charlton wrote an open letter to Brown earlier on Sunday inviting him to receive the bucket when the auction finishes. 

"Although you were the inspiration for and subject of many humorous jibes I hope you can see the funny side and enter into the spirit of the auction. If we can't laugh at ourselves in times of trouble then we are in deep water indeed," the letter said.

"While some have criticised the auction as an attack on your mayoralty I see this as a golden opportunity for you to rise above the negative comments about your handling of the flood and show the people of Auckland your human side.

"I would like to invite you to a media event at which the winner of the auction will have the opportunity to present you with the unused bucket. We realise you are a busy man and so this brief event can be scheduled at your convenience.

"In addition to receiving the bucket I would like to invite you to sign it and put it back on Trade Me to raise more funds for flood relief."