Jan/Feb 2023 Progress Report

Prepared by Ian – He is a real trooper.


Attendance during normal Tuesday and Thursday sessions totaled 94. This represents about a 10% increase compared to the same period last year.

In addition to our normal MenShed sessions, thanks to Allan Harvey we had a MenShed presence at the Wanaka Community Workshop most days each week. Attendance totaled 23. 

During February

  • MenShed members received initial training concerning the safe use of the new thicknesser / planner machine.
  • MenShed members received training concerning both Safe Setting and clearing of a DOC Trap and Calibrating.
  • This month we received formal advice that the Upper Clutha Woodworkers Guild do not wish to utilise the Workshop for their meetings. In response Guild members removed their equipment and materials.
    We have been working with the Guild for over a year and given that we now have clarity MenShed members have tidied up the area of the workshop occupied by our lathe and it is now operational.
  • The high level of utilisation of the Workshop’s equipment by travelers fitting out their vans for accommodation has continued. Our experience is that vans are purchased upon arrival in Christchurch then relocated to Wanaka for upgrading.
    I suggest we should consider what membership rates should apply to such activity. 
    We have had relatively inexperienced users break gear (e.g. band saw blades) and change alignments of the planner / thicknesser. The latter has led us to lock the equipment for hours outside the normal MenShed period.
    Currently the charge for a part year full membership is often $30 which seems very low for the work undertaken. 
  • We have sold a number of items via Facebook local Marketplace and have been working with a local organic supermarket to have products for display / sale over a period of month during March / April.
  • The Wanaka Community Workshop website has provision for sales. An area for improvement concerns ensuring any orders lodged via the website are known to MenShed members who are in a position to supply products ordered.
  • Members have been meeting / working in collaboration with a range of community and environmental groups with respect to a display at the 2023 Wanaka A&P Show. 
  • Members have met with MINT regarding their 2023 program. This has the potential to expand given successful funding applications by MINT.
  • A number of members have volunteered for the Wheels at Wanaka event in recognition of the Wanaka Community Workshop being selected as a charity beneficiary of the event.
  • MenShed members also support the day to day operation of the Wanaka Backyard Trapping “trap library” via the drop off and pick up of traps. 
  • From March the environmental sub group of Kahu Youth will utilise the Workshop on Monday afternoons. MenShed members have been asked to support their activities.
  • Barrie continues to significantly aid the Workshop through the removal and disposal of waste timber. Barrie removes some 1-2 trailers per month which would otherwise be costing $200-300 to dispose of. Other members remove smaller amounts which are disposed of via the Council domestic service.
  • Two blog stories weekly have been published via the Workshop website concerning activities of the MenShed team.
  • The team continues to benefit (and enjoy) a regular flow of great cakes & biscuits cooked by Jim Bob.
  • Finally the MenShed have benefited from an extensive range of produce (fruit and vege’s) grown and shared by members.


Members have been contacted with respect to their 2023 membership.

Gwilym is / has established a new database of members linked to the Workshop website.

“Business Contacts” and other non member contacts will continue to be held in the shared Google database.

Health & Safety

  • No accidents to report.
  • Electric safety tagging: The mandatory electrical safety checks for many of our electrical tools and equipment have expired. With the death of Graham we no longer have a certified electrician as a member willing to undertake such checks.
    I suggest we need to establish a commercial relationship with a firm to visit the workshop say twice per year to check our equipment. Alternatively we seek a firm or person able to undertake this activity as a “in kind” sponsorship of the Workshop. Wanaka Wastebusters may be able to help with this.

Completed Projects

  • 15 Geko Hotels for Te Kakano plus 8 for sale.
  • 5 bench seats constructed of recycled pallet wood together with 2 refurbished seats prepared for Wheels at Wanaka Event.
  • Three cornhole game boards for sale, each with 4 cloth bags supplied via fabrication.
  • Range of fruit & vege crates together with small and large wooden crates / box’s for sale.
  • Repair / restoration of piano stool for individual.
  • Repair of two Riddling Rack’s for a local winery.
  • 5 easels to display signage for Wai Wanaka for use at 2023 A&P Show 
  • Fitted a wheeled platform together with appropriate electrical connection which made the new thicknesser / planner machine operational.
  • Shelving within the private Project Storeroom.
  • Fabrication of small project kits (e.g. planters, box’s tool box’s etc) suitable for easy assembly during future events. 

Projects In Progress

  • A lilliput library for the Friends of Wanaka Library.
  • A lilliput library for Wanaka Pre School
  • Repair of 20-30 Riddling Rack’s for the Quartz Reef vineyard Bannockburn.
  • Magnetic picture frames for the March MINT program.
  • Morepork nesting box for sale.
  • Two small / mobile worktables, one for the Workshop the second for sale.
  • A MenShed “name board” .
  • A MenShed cupboard.

Prospective Projects

  • Further lilliput libraries for Friends of Wanaka Library.
  • Fashion Show led by Wastebusters / fabricate scheduled for the workshop 23 March. At the time of preparing this report it is unclear what if any requirements for MenShed members are associated with the event beyond the loss of a normal period of work to provide for the set up of the event on Thursday 23 March.


  • Hosted Wanaka Backyard Trapping Volunteer Event.

Marketing and Communications

  • Regular stories published on the web site and Facebook site – we achieved two a week in December but less in January.

Donations and Grants

Over this period the MenShed received donations of a range of timber, tools & equipment and construction hardware.