IN NEED OF A SHED: Menzshed Whakatu chairman Graeme O’Brien (centre) stands with a group of supporters who would like to see a Menzshed in Nelson. Photo: Kate Russell.

Last chance for a Menzshed in Nelson


Menzshed are making a “last chance” attempt to establish a shed in Nelson.

The Menzshed Wakatu committee have being trying to set up a shed over the last three years with varying success – but no shed, to date.

President of the committee, Graeme O’Brien, says they are asking Nelson City Council for tangible assistance, and will be presenting at the public forum of the community services committee this Thursday.

It’s not the first time Menzshed have asked the council for help – last year they were rejected a space at Founders Heritage Park as they “didn’t fit their vision,” according to Graeme.

Although he says that Founders would be the ideal spot, they would take anything suitable that was offered.

“Anything in Nelson would be fantastic – and the bigger, the better,” he says.

“Also, it’s not like it’s a new idea – it’s been tried and tested and there are so many different people we can provide for.”

Menzshed is a community organisation that has chapters through New Zealand and Australia.

It allows men from the community to come in and use tools in the shed for various projects, from restoring furniture to building items for other not-for-profit groups.

It also provides a space where men can exchange skills, interact, speak out and be educated about health issues.

Greg West, who is a keen supporter of getting the Menzshed up and running, says there is a “real need” for something like it in Nelson.

“I’d love to pick up some of the techniques from the older guys, help with projects for the community and network with other men,” he says.

Another supporter, Jonathan Thorpe, says he has seen similar sheds that have helped men to create a “sense of self-worth” and learn self-sufficiency.

Graeme says he will soon be stepping down from being the committee’s president, because of family reasons – but he wants to make sure the shed has a home first.

“What I’m trying to do is get momentum from council to get a space, and to get a new committee on board so we can pass it onto the next group.”

If you want to find out more about how you can support the establishment of a Menzshed in Nelson, you can contact Graeme O’Brien on 0221942516 or email [email protected].