Men get their shed


The men finally have their shed – but they’ll have to prove their worth with the building needing plenty of work before it will be ready to house their tools.

Menzshed Whakau has been searching for a suitable community shed where woodworkers, metalworkers and handymen can create together. The year-long search ended this month when Habitat for Humanity offered a shed at the back of their new Re-Store on Quarantine Rd, which is due to open in early September.

The Richmond-based Menzshed Waimea has been running for four years and has been a huge success, with many retired men coming down to make the most of the tools and space and being able to pass on their knowledge to younger members. Its chairman, Philip Chapman, is also a committee member of the Nelson version and he says it does take time to get established.

“It took four or five of us sitting around for a year and a half hoping, and all of a sudden a shed is there and we had 150 members.”

He says 40 of those members are from Nelson and he believes many will be keen to get involved in the new shed.

Menzshed Whakatu chairman Graeme O’Brien says they’re delighted to have been offered the space, but admitted it will take some work to get up to scratch. “It’s fantastic, and to come in with Habitat for Humanity is a perfect fit. As we progress and get on our feet we’ll really help each other out. We’ll have to do it up, but if we can’t do up our own shed, what sort of men are we?”

The shed is slightly smaller than the Richmond shed but does have a sizeable yard and some of that is under cover. Graeme thinks it will take around six months for the walls to be lined, roof fixed and power fitted. At that stage the shed will be secure and open to accept donated tools.

Habitat for Humanity Nelson chairman Rob Silcock says they were happy to offer the space, because like Menzshed, they’re “beggars”.

“The way I look at it is that we’re two beggars and we’re helping each other out. They’ve got a huge task to get that shed up and running, it’s not a gimme by any means. But it’s somewhere where they can go with parking, yard space, and once they get it fixed it will be a roof over their heads and lockable.”

Graeme says the group will be hosting its AGM at Lambretta’s Café on July 26 at 4pm. He encourages anyone interested to come along.