Menzshed opens and women welcomed

A home away from home for handymen and women has been officially opened in Arrowtown.

The Arrowtown Menzshed, part of a national movement of more than 100 Menzsheds, has taken four years to come to full fruition, driven by founder Russell Heckler.

The $120,000, 66sqm building, off Preston Dr, was constructed on land owned by the Queenstown Lakes District Council, adjoining its Arrowtown Holiday Park, leased by Erna and Toni Spijkerbosch.

The exterior of the building was completed at the end of last year with support from Central Lakes Trust, Community Trust South and the Lottery Grants Board.

Club secretary Martin Barrett said while from the street "it looked like she was ready to go", there was no insulation, no wiring or plumbing and, critically, it lacked "major items of plant".

Queenstown Lions vice-president Michael White (left) with Arrowtown Menzshed secretary Martin...
Queenstown Lions vice-president Michael White (left) with Arrowtown Menzshed secretary Martin Barrett and Queenstown Lions past-president Mark Ward inside the completed Arrowtown Menzshed on Saturday.PHOTO: TRACEY ROXBURGH
Over the past few months the members had worked on bringing the building up to the required standard and following a donation by Queenstown Lions Club it was able to buy a thicknesser, table saw, drill set and a compound saw.

"The purchasing of this plant was the last piece of the jigsaw that allowed us to say, ‘OK, we can open to members’," Mr Barrett said.

Along with fixing things for the community, including a neighbouring fence, the members will also work on other community projects, like reconditioning park benches outside Arrowtown’s Lakes District Museum.

They will also restore other items with a view to selling them online to raise money for the Menzshed.

One of the underlying principles of the Menzshed was the general wellbeing of older men who had an interest in handyman and restoration work, to get them out of the house and ensure they had opportunities to be social.

"On top of that, it’s got that benefit of being able to do something practical and help the community — we’re here to help the community."

However, women were more than welcome to join, Mr Barrett said — and several had already signed up.

Add a Comment

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter