By Pauline Stewart.
“We have got tools and more tools and lots of building essentials - drills, electric planers, a small generator, electric leads, nails, screws of multiple sizes and types, gardening tools, a myriad of hand tools. Then there’s many pieces for the home and the hobby - pasta makers, soda streams, stainless steel bench for fish filleting, fishing rods.” This was Glen Schache’s pitch to me and it was very convincing. Once The Informer visited, he was clearly not exaggerating. One could say Glenn is like the foreman of the MENZSHED - he knows where everything is.
Their MENZSHED Container Shop is not quite Smith & Caughey in Auckland, but it’s got just about everything you need in the tool and house implement department. The shop is open the same hours as the MENZSHED operates - 9.00am to 12 noon Tuesdays and Thursdays in front of the maroon shed on South Highway, Whitianga.
Glen is keen to reiterate, “This is not a Garage Sale which we sometimes have; this is a shop all set out in a shipping container that pops up every Tuesday and Thursdays and very knowledgeable men are there to serve you. We look forward to lots of people coming to see us.”
Currently, Whitianga MENZSHED does not have enough bench space for the men to work on their different projects, and they have raised a considerable amount towards a larger shed in a nearby location. There is still a way to go for this. There are 39 members, a great variety of skills and backgrounds - lawyers, engineers, accountants, office workers, business openers, retired tradesmen, - and they all work with tools, repairing and making all manner of things. The MENZSHED has a stall every Saturday when the Whiti Citi Markets are held, to raise funds for their next and larger location, selling the beautifully crafted toys and useful house implements made at the MENZSHED.
When interviewed previously, Brian Mearns, Chairman of the Whitianga MENZSHED said, “The MENZSHED is good for the men, but the projects we undertake benefit the whole community. It is a safe space for men and their mental health and for some men this space is crucial.”
Caption: Phil Rule and Glen Schache, not your regular retail assistants, but they know their stuff.