Man tries to sell kidney to fund 'rising cost of living'

A MAN has tried to sell one of his kidneys on Trade Me for $250,000, saying he is trying to combat the rising cost of living in New Zealand.

The listing appeared on the auction site shortly before 5.30pm on Wednesday.

The user, identified only as Phil from the Tokoroa/Putaruru area in Waikato, said the kidney would not only give a buyer "a chance of life" but also help him support his family.

"We live in a user-pays society and the costs of living in NZ are spiralling out of control," the listing said.

The entry bid for the auction, listed under "other" in the Health and Beauty section, was $17,500 and it carried a buy now price of $250,000.

Human bodies or body parts are featured on Trade Me's "banned items" list, which included sperm, eggs, excrement and bones.

Trade Me spokesman Paul Ford said the auction was removed from the site about 9am yesterday.

The regulation was added to the website's rule book after Nelson man Shane Torrance tried to sell his amputated leg in 2006.

Organ Donation New Zealand spokesman and renal transplant specialist at Auckland City Hospital, Dr Ian Dittmer, said selling organs was not allowed under New Zealand law and kidney donation was guided by a strict code of ethics.

The listing was viewed by 30 people, though no bids were placed.