Dumped portrait of Helen Clark rescued from Wellington rubbish tip, up to $500 on Trademe & climbing

A large portrait of former Prime Minister Helen Clark has been saved from a Wellington landfill and is now for sale.

The former prime minister tweeted she hoped the proceeds would go to a cause like the Women's Refuge. Source: 1 NEWS

The 2.4m portrait was found by a worker at the Southern Landfill in Wellington on Wednesday and was brought to the tip's Second Treasures shop.

Wellington City Council resource recovery manager Roderick Boys said the worker initially plucked the portrait out becuase he thought the wood it was painted on could be worth something.

"We saw it and went, actually its quite good artwork, so thought we'd list it on Trade Me," Mr Boys said.

The portrait is 2.4m high by 1.2m wide and painted on plywood.

The Trade Me listing has so far received 65 bids with the current bid sitting at $300.

Helen Clark is aware of the painting's auction, and has tweeted asking for the profits to be donated to "a good cause like Women's Refuge".

Mr Boys said Second Treasures were happy to donate the money.

"We already discussed maybe giving it to charity anyway so she's effectively named a charity, so she’s thinking the same way we were."

He said it was "awesome" Ms Clark had been in touch.

Mr Boys didn't know how much to expect for the portrait, given most items at the tip shop "sell for less than ten bucks".

"She's got a few staples in her and the edges are a bit tatty and broken but, as you can see it's still presentable."

While the painting isn't in pristine condition, Mr Boys said it was definitely too good to be thrown out.

"This is an example of someone who was just going to throw some wood out and we’ve been able to pull it out of the landfill and do something good with it and someone else will take it on and do something else with it in the future."