Wednesday, 26 February 2020


A Menz Shed is coming to Whitianga

The Whitianga Lions Club are embarking on a new project for members of the Mercury Bay community. Richard Vetter, the owner of Peninsula Roofing and Scaffolding and member of the Whitianga Lions, has recently offered his fellow Lions the use of a shed he owns in South Highway, Whitianga.

The shed is equipped with three phase power and full toilet facilities. The Lions decided it would be perfect for a Whitianga "Menz Shed."

Menz Shed New Zealand (MSNZ) is a registered charity with around 90 sheds all over the country, bringing likeminded people together to work on "DIY" projects, to learn new skills and to share existing ones.

There are variations of men's shed associations all over the world, including in Ireland, Canada and Australia. The Australian Men’s Shed Association currently has over 1,000 sheds and is a big inspiration for the way the sheds are run here in New Zealand.

Once the Whitianga Menz Shed is up and running, the Lions will be stepping back. "We want the shed to be something the whole community can be involved in," says Malcolm Brown, one of the Lions involved in setting up the shed.

To get an idea of how a Menz Sheds works, some of the Whitianga Lions members made a trip to Pauanui, where there's a shed with about 40 members. “The Pauanui Menz Shed do all sorts of projects, like building street furniture, refurbishing old trailers and making traps for the Department of Conservation,” says Malcolm. “They also make chopping boards, which they sell to raise funds for their shed. It’s all about community projects and community involvement.”

The Whitianga shed will also focus on the community. “The shed will be a great place to hang out for people who love using their hands to create and repair things,” says Malcolm. “We also won't be exclusive to men only. Anyone looking for good company will be welcome to join in.”

An initial public meeting will be held on Wednesday next week (18 July) at 10:30am at the future Whitianga Menz Shed in South Highway (where the DOC field office used to be, next to the BP fuel pump). The meeting will be to gauge interest, discuss the future management of the shed and to determine if there are any hand and power tools out there that can be donated to the shed. All are welcome to attend.


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