Menzshed volunteers with some of the 600 traps they have built. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Local men on trapping mission


A local volunteer group have found their calling and it’s slowly helping remove pests from across the region.

Menzshed Nelson/Whakatū are a group of retired or retiring men that gather twice a week in a practical shed environment to develop and share skills while contributing to the local community.

They do this in a variety of ways, with recent projects including building mud kitchens for local playcentres, a refurbishment of the Maurice Gee chair in the Maitai Valley, and a project for the Nelson Children’s Ward.

However, since lockdown, and the month preceding it, the group has been busy making rat and stoat traps, and the orders keep rolling in.

The group is about to round off building its 600th trap, which volunteer Colin Johnstone says started from building ink rat traps for the Brook Waimārama Sanctuary.

Colin says orders have now come in from Department of Conservation, Nelson City Council, Tāhunanui Bowling Club and the Marsden Valley Trapping Group.

He says you can even order one for your backyard for just $30.

The traps have been hard on the volunteer groups tools though, many of which are donated hand-me downs.

“Because of the traps we’ve had to invest in a good quality skill saw, you can’t use hand-me down tools for making 600 traps,” says volunteer Wayne Logan.

With 45 cuts in each trap, the group is now on a mission to upgrade some more of its power tools.

“We’re trying to upgrade some tools so we can do some more projects,” says Wayne.

For now, the group will push on to get the 600th trap out the door, some members starting before 8am to make sure the work is completed.

Anyone interested in joining Menzshed Nelson/Whakatū or donating can visit their website.