Big Splash at GABA’s charity auction

November 10, 2014 in General

Auckland’s GABA Charity Auction went off with a bang yesterday, raising around $30,000 for the community.

A wide range of items went under the hammer including theatre tickets, artwork, business packages and antique collectibles.

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Auctioneer Michelle Maitland kept the crowd on their toes. Photo: Andrea

The highest-selling item was a romantic five-night stay for two adults in a luxury Waterfront Villa at The Havannah in Vanuatu, including return flights to Port Vila.

The Havannah and Air New Zealand jointly donated the prize, which was scooped up for $4500.

A Peaches & Cream gift pack that included the official Fifty Shades of Grey riding crop and flogger also drew loud cheers from the audience, with auctioneer Michelle Maitland suggesting a whipping if the bidding didn’t go high enough.

GABA’s Gresham Bradley paid tribute to the many groups and organisations that had made the event possible.

Around 150 people were at the Hilton for the charity auction. Photo: Andrea

Around 150 people were at the Hilton for the charity auction. Photo: Andrea

“The level of sponsorship we’ve received this year is above every other year,” he said. “This allows us to give support to scholarships, community awards, and private awards.”

Prominent sponsors included ASB, ANZ, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Grey Lynn Tyreworx.

Bidding was fierce, and political rivalry broke out with former Labour candidate Tamati Coffey going up against National’s Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye for a large traditional tapa cloth from Samoa.

Manurewa MP Louisa Wall was delighted with her portrait of Carmen Rupe. Photo: Andrea

Manurewa MP Louisa Wall was delighted with her portrait of Carmen Rupe. Photo: Andrea

Tamati also bid unsuccessfully on a boxed and signed bottle of Oban 14-year-old single malt Scotch whiskey donated by Labour MP Jacinda Ardern.

Other politicians had better luck, with Labour’s Manurewa MP Louisa Wall bidding $1000 for a stunning painting of Carmen Rupe by contemporary Māori artist Te Mete.

The 1000 x 610mm oil on canvas, Carmen Rupe – The Final Portrait (2013), was first unveiled during a ceremony to mark the handover of taonga that were bequeathed to national museum Te Papa.

Green MP Jan Logie also picked up an untitled pastel by contemporary New Zealand artist Anna Palmer.

James and Benjamin from the Burning Man Dance Company gave a splashing performance. Photo: Andrea

James and Benjamin from the Burning Man Dance Company gave a splashing performance. Photo: Andrea

The Big Splash event was held in the Aqua Room at the Hilton on the Auckland waterfront, with stunning views across the harbour. Entertainment had a watery theme, with guests being treated to a splashing performance by James and Benjamin from the Burning Man Dance Company.

Later, Miss Leda Petit brought the house down with her burlesque routine in and around a bathtub. Several in the audience were seen fanning themselves afterwards.

Miss Leda Petit brought the house down with her burlesque routine. Photo: Andrea

Miss Leda Petit brought the house down with her burlesque routine. Photo: Andrea

MC Mika also drew loud applause, keeping the crowd warmed up between auctions. At one stage he pulled audience members onto the stage for an impromptu dance routine.

Gresham Bradley said a wide range of people in the community would benefit from the money raised. He paid particular tribute to AUT University, who this year increased their support for the event.

“We would like to acknowledge AUT, who have come to the party with our scholarships,” said Bradley. “We are able to give away four scholarships this year.”

Previous recipients of GABA scholarships have included Joshua James, Rawinia Thompson, and Samantha King.