Jan – March 2024 Activity Report

The first quarter of 2023 has been busy, very busy at the Wanaka Community Workshop.


Throughout the period the MenShed team came together to work on a range of community projects every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Attendance totaled 332 representing 1,162 hours of volunteer effort – 7.2 full time equivalents over the period.

No accidents at the workshop beyond two requiring not much more than a band-aid to fix.

The following projects were completed:

  • Four Lilliput Libraries for Friends of Wanaka Library and various community groups.
  • Two “Mud Kitchen’s” for local pre schools.
  • Two Picnic Tables for Bike Wanaka.
  • 150 Tunnels for Rat Traps for local community groups and sale.
  • 30 DOC 200 and 150 Traps for local community groups and sale.
  • 62 Storage and Recycling Boxes for local primary schools and the Wanaka Recreation Centre.
  • Two “Doggie Stick Libraries” for Roy’s Bay and Bremner Bay tracks.
  • One “Doggie Refreshment Station” for Sticky Forest.
  • Six peonies Flower Boxes for a local grower.
  • Two large Outdoor Tables for The Hub.
  • Various outdoor Signage and Information Boards for Wai Wanaka, Te Kano and The Hub.
  • Various Christmas Decorations.
  • Two Donation Stands for Love Wanaka
  • Two “Viking Tables” and six “Viking Benches” for community groups and sale.
  • Ten “Viking” Star Gazing Chairs for a new local business.
  • Two large Seedling Raising Tables for a local pre-school.
  • Ten Cornhole Game Board sets for sale.
  • Six Wine Crates for a local business.
  • Eight “Spinning Wheels” for Volunteer Otago / Southland and Kahu Youth.
  • A Human Fruit Machine” for Wai Wanaka.
  • Bowls Boxes for Aspiring Village.
  • Three Portable Stages for Mount Aspiring College.
  • Various small projects and repairs in support of the local hospice, opportunity shops and for local households.

Our projects were built either totally or largely from recycled materials. This up-cycle or re-cycling removed some 4,200 Kg from the waste stream.

Over the last 3 month period members of the MenShed Team further volunteered at the workshop in support of:

  • QLDC Wanaka Recreation Centre holiday programs.
  • MINT woodworking program

During this same period the volunteers also completed projects within the Workshop including improved storage and shelving as well as a table for light engineering and welding.

In terms of wellbeing for the volunteers, each MenShed session is associated with a “cuppa”. Following the receipt of a grant from the local Health Board, food is also provided at our machine use and safety sessions.

Textile working – Fabricate

During the last three months the Fabricate Team also came together each Tuesday and Thursday morning.

No accidents took place.

Community projects undertaken include:

  • Costumes for Wai Wanaka.
  • Bags for Corn Hole Game Board sets.
  • Yoga Bolsters for the Wanaka Recreation Centre.

Volunteers supported a MINT textile workshop.

Donations, Workshop Improvements and Upgrades

Throughout the period the Workshop received a stream of ‘in kind’ donations from across the Wanaka Community. Building materials from the Upper Clutha construction sector as well as local households together with tools and equipment have been incorporated into the wood workshop. Cloth, tools and equipment have been received largely from households for the textile workshop.

Upgrades to the Workshop have included:

  • Steel work table and associated concrete foundation to enable light engineering.
  • Small mobile work benches to enable greater capacity to undertake projects both inside the Workshop and outside in the yard.
  • Storage and shelving within the wood workshop.
  • Storage and shelving within the textile workshop.
  • An embossing heat branding machine to mark items created within the Workshop.

Private Projects

A wide range of projects are undertaken utilising the work space, tools and materials at the Workshop.

This activity is undertaken by members of the Workshop outside those times utilised by the MenShed and Fabricate for community projects.

Projects include:

  • Minor home upgrades, extensions and repairs.
  • Building furniture and furniture repairs.
  • Shelving and storage.
  • Visitors using the facilities of the Workshop to upgrade their vans is a particular feature.

Next Quarter

The Wanaka Community Workshop is now well established however capacity remains to utilise its facilities in different ways. This includes hosting training sessions in a variety of practical skills. This quarter we shall investigate this opportunity.

The MenShed team at the Workshop shall continue to seek to strengthen its relationships with community groups across the Upper Clutha.

With the likely reduction in the range and extent of government grants available for the natural environment, the team may, for example, be able to offer a trap maintenance and refurbishment service rather than new build.