Author: Ian Maxwell

  • A new doggie icon

    A new doggie icon

    Given the popularity of our initial Doggie Stick Library the MenShed team have completed a second. The new Library is located adjacent to the lakeside track leading to the Wanaka Tree. The library has already featured on social media. Given the number of folk taking photo’s of their library with their dog or just selfies,…

  • Getting vans ready to occupy

    Getting vans ready to occupy

    Every year the Upper Clutha community hosts thousands of overseas visitors. Many are long term visitors to New Zealand who convert vans in order to freedom camp throughout the nation. The Wanaka Community Workshop regularly hosts such travelers who are seeking to upgrade their vans with beds, storage, kitchen and toilet facilities. Summer is our…

  • Anyone for Cornhole

    Anyone for Cornhole

    This week the team at the MenShed have been busy building corn hole game boards. We built our first board over a year ago. In response to demand from households, firms and community groups our team has been regularly producing corn hole game boards. Its a great game and its always satisfying seeing folk enjoying…

  • Beach toy repairs

    Beach toy repairs

    Wanaka is busy – hosting an average of 18,000 visitors daily during our peak visitor season. Many of our visitors are kids who have been making great use of the Beach Toy Library located on the lakefront near the Water Sports Facility. As a result a number of the wooden toys built by the MenShed…

  • Minaret Peak wine

    Minaret Peak wine

    Every so often the MenShed team at the Wanaka Community Workshop get the opportunity to support local business. The funds raised go toward meeting our operational costs such as electricity. The Upper Clutha is home to a highly regarded wine sector. Minaret Peak is a long standing wine grower of our region. This week the…

  • New lilliput library open

    New lilliput library open

    Over the last couple of years the MenShed team operating from the Wanaka Community Workshop have built Lilliput Libraries. Today these libraries serve local communities throughout Wanaka as well as Lake Hawea and Luggate. This week the most recent addition to the network is ready to open. The lilliput library is located within the Wanaka…

  • All action at the Workshop

    All action at the Workshop

    This week members of the MenShed welcomed kids participating in the holiday program managed by the Wanaka Recreation Centre. We had prepared for the visit by fabricating components of wooden crates ready for assembly. The kids used a simple jig to complete the job with some precise (and not so precise) hammering. Its great to…

  • Community delivers

    Community delivers

    The Wanaka Community Workshop is part of our community here in Upper Clutha. We often see real evidence of the support of our community through the donation of building materials, plant and equipment. This week members of the MenShed team have collected (and will soon sort) power and hand tools, equipment as well as a…

  • Doggie refreshment station

    Doggie refreshment station

    Summer across the Upper Clutha is hot and dry. Dry for humans and dry for dogs. A keen cyclist visiting the region decided to do something about the problem. Do something for the dogs who accompany their owners when biking the trails in Sticky Forest. The stand was quickly created using recycled materials at the…

  • Last quarter 2023 activities

    Last quarter 2023 activities

    The last quarter of 2023 has been a busy and successful period at the Wanaka Community Workshop. Volunteer/Wo(Men)Shed Sessions – Wood working Our Volunteer sessions continue to be vibrant and the core of the Community Workshop. Average attendance by the MenShed team who as advertised in local media gather each Tuesday and Thursday mornings at…

  • MINT Christmas Project

    MINT Christmas Project

    This week the Workshop welcomed the crew from MINT. While MINT are regular users of the Workshop their December visit was special – a get together with a Christmas focus. With the support of MenShed members this month’s project was a “organic” Christmas Tree largely build from driftwood collected around the lake shore. The crew…

  • Mud kitchen in action

    Mud kitchen in action

    This week members of the MenShed team were invited for morning tea at Kids First – a pre school located at Hawea Flat. Recently the team delivered a second mud kitchen for use by the kids as play equipment. The two mud kitchens (one with a stove!) followed a couple of built up gardens where…

  • Spinning for Volunteers

    Spinning for Volunteers

    Volunteering is a way of life across the Upper Clutha. Many people across our community contribute through giving their time to activities which make our community strong – culture & arts, sports & recreation, spiritual, the natural environment and others who just need a helping hand. Volunteer South is a local agency which works to…

  • Signs for Te Kakano

    Signs for Te Kakano

    Te Kākano Aotearoa Trust is a Wānaka non-profit organisation that is making a difference for our natural environment. The Trust eco-sources seeds from the Upper Clutha area, raises seedlings in their nursery, and then facilitates community-based native planting and habitat restoration. They do a great job. This week the MenShed Team made a small contribution…

  • Christmas at the Workshop

    Christmas at the Workshop

    Christmas is a time for family and friends together. This week the team who regularly get together at the Wanaka Community Workshop 2023 met at the workshop to celebrate Christmas. Wellbeing is important for all. While we love designing and building stuff for our community we also enjoy each others company. Christmas is a time…

  • Puteketeke, Making a Difference

    Puteketeke, Making a Difference

    The MenShed team build traps at the Wanaka Community Workshop – lots of traps. Every day the traps are doing their work protecting our natural environment across the Upper Clutha. Some are located along the shoreline of Lake Wanaka protecting our iconic Puteketeke – the Australasian Crested Grebe, as they lay eggs and raise their…

  • Viking Table

    Viking Table

    We’re still working through our big stack of Scaffold Planks from Bramwell Scaffolding (big thanks to those guys). This week the team are creating a large table and benches for customers of the food caravan out the front of the Workshop at 15 Gordon Road. Gillian and Donelle picked this project up and have had…

  • A library for Kirimoko

    A library for Kirimoko

    This week the MenShed Team erected the regions latest Lilliput Library. Built from recycled materials and painted by a local artist the library will serve the Kirimoko community off Aubrey Road in Wanaka. If the number of local adults and kids, who stopped on their way to school and work when the library was being…

  • Doggie stick library

    Doggie stick library

    The MenShed team have introduced a new service to Wanaka – a Doggie Stick Library. The idea is a bit quirky but was thought to be a great fit for Wanaka. Built from recycled materials the library has been placed in Bremner Bay. The library provides for “classic” sticks named after “Spot”, “Hercules Morse” and…

  • Hayes Engineering Works

    Hayes Engineering Works

    This month the MenShed Team from the Wanaka Community Workshop took some time out and visited the historic Hayes engineering shop at Oturehua. Coffee and a tour displaying how the water and wind powered machinery of the 1920’s worked. What’s not to like! The team love to gather each week at the Wanaka Community Workshop.…

  • Triangle tables

    Triangle tables

    This week the MenShed team completed two outdoor tables. Both were built from recycled materials which had been previously used in the construction sector. The tables were unusual being designed as a pair to fit adjacent to a curved wall. As a result each has three legs! It sounds unusual but it works. The tables…

  • Lilliput Bright Spots

    Lilliput Bright Spots

    Over recent weeks the MenShed team at the Wanaka Community Workshop have partnered with artist Chrissy Wickes and the children who attend her art classes. The outcome is a range of bright cheerful lilliput libraries. The first is now operational in Gordon Road Wanaka. A second will be located in Kirimoko. The third will be…

  • Essential maintenance

    Essential maintenance

    A lot of timber is cut at the Wanaka Community Workshop. As a result saws, all sorts of saws, are core to the Workshop’s ability to undertake projects. To sustain the Workshop’s capacity maintenance and upkeep of our equipment is essential. This week the MenShed team replaced and rebalanced blades in both our table saw…

  • Lots on the go

    Lots on the go

    With warm sunny days activity at the Wanaka Community Workshop is up. We have projects underway for a host of groups across the Upper Clutha – from lilliput libraries to donation stands, from tables and traps to Christmas decorations. The workshop have also hosted visits from the Wastebuster Repair Revolution, Wao Conference attendees and team…

  • Picnic tables on the way

    Picnic tables on the way

    This week the MenShed team at the Wanaka Community Workshop are completing a couple of picnic tables. Built from upcycled materials which had a previous life as scaffolding, the picnic tables will soon have a new life in the outdoors. We at the Workshop appreciate the donation of building materials by firms and members of…

  • Less clutter at Hawea

    Less clutter at Hawea

    This week Sue completed a job for the Hawea Flat Primary School. The job involved using recycled timber to create a series of wooden box’s to store kids toys and education materials. Each is mounted on caster wheels so that they can be easily moved about. The wooden box’s are the latest in a number…

  • Protect your post

    Protect your post

    The Wanaka Community Workshop regularly benefit from donations of timber from building firms involved with the vibrant construction sector operating across the Upper Clutha. This week Barry from the MenShed team created a new product from the materials provided. The result is a range of graceful letterbox’s. They are now available for sale through our…

  • MenShed team in July

    MenShed team in July

    July was a great month for the MenShed team at the Wanaka Community Workshop. Team members hosted 24 kids undertaking a holiday program with the Wanaka Recreation Centre. Each went home with a small wooden crate. We also hosted 9 folk from MINT who each went home with a bird feeder. During July the team…

  • Lots of Lilliput’s

    Lots of Lilliput’s

    The Upper Clutha community is a community that reads. The evidence is that the Wanaka Community Workshop is full of Lilliput Libraries. The libraries each containing a small book exchange are popping up all over the town. Four new libraries at the Workshop will be managed by the Friends of Wanaka Library. A fifth is…

  • A Lake Front Toy Library

    A Lake Front Toy Library

    This week the team at the MenShed completed their first Beach Toy Library. It is a simple idea. An idea borrowed from an example spotted in Tauranga. The Library contains wooden toys, buckets and spades which kids can access when playing on the lake shore. With toys going back into the library they are available…

  • Night school coffins

    Night school coffins

    Death Cafe Wanaka is group that embraces and honours the intricacies, ambiguities and mysteries surrounding how one may seek meaning within the context of death and dying. This week the MenShed team have been working with members of the Death Cafe to finalise how they can access the Wanaka Community Workshop and construct coffins for themselves…

  • All dressed up

    All dressed up

    Wanaka has had its fair share of inversions of late – a layer of cloud trapped below slightly warmer air above. The grey cloud layer above the town lets little sun through. As a result those of us on the ground feel the cold. Despite the temperature the MenShed team at the Wanaka Community Workshop…

  • Mid year Christmas

    Mid year Christmas

    The MenShed team meet at the Wanaka Community Workshop every Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to midday. At this time we get stuff done. We also gather for social occasions – where little is done. More a time for friends to gather to enjoy some great tucker and share a few stories. Our most recent…

  • MINT delivers for the birds

    MINT delivers for the birds

    MINT is a community agency who works towards forging great lives for those with intellectual disabilities in the Upper Clutha Region. As part of their regular program MINT regularly attends the Wanaka Community Workshop. At the Workshop the team from MINT work with wood or fabric. This week’s visit was a bit special. The visit…

  • MenShed Team in June

    MenShed Team in June

    Winter arrived this month accompanied by cool temperatures under the inversion cloud layer and the occasional frost. Attendance at our regular Tuesday and Thursday mornings totaled 102 representing 306 work hours or 7.5 full time equivalents. We had no workplace accidents – following reminder briefings regarding the importance of wearing safety equipment utilisation has improved.…

  • Mountain film festival visits

    Mountain film festival visits

    This week Wanaka hosted the New Zealand Mountain Film & Book Festival. It is a great event that showcases the natural environment and the people who challenge themselves within it.  Part of the Festival includes workshops for budding camera people to improve their craft. The Wanaka Community Workshop were used by participants as an opportunity…

  • A food bank for Kahu Youth

    A food bank for Kahu Youth

    The Team at the Workshop this week completed the latest in a growing network of food banks serving communities across Upper Clutha. The Network has been established by Community Networks our one stop shop for community services operating by the Community Hub. Food banks can be found at the Community Hub as well as the…

  • Storage box’s help tidy a pre school

    Storage box’s help tidy a pre school

    Lets face it, from time to time kid’s can be messy. The MenShed team can help with this. This week we shipped four large wooden box’s. Each is mobile with a set of wheels. The box’s can store stuff. Stuff left about on the floor can be popped in and the box stored away –…

  • MenShed Team May Report

    MenShed Team May Report

    During May 2023 the MenShed Team met at the Wanaka Community Workshop each Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to midday. Our average attendance was 14 and over the month the volunteers contributed almost 360 hours – equivalent to 9 full time person weeks. We had no work related accidents or near misses. Over May the…

  • Thanks to Wheels at Wānaka

    Thanks to Wheels at Wānaka

    Every two years our community hosts Wheels at Wānaka, the largest event of its type in the Southern Hemisphere. Its a great event that attracts people from across New Zealand. This year the Wanaka Community Workshop was a charity that benefitted from the success of the event. Thanks to the organisers, participants and attendees the…

  • Weta Workshop

    Weta Workshop

    Weta are giant flightless crickets unique to New Zealand. They are generally active at night with most of the small species being carnivores and scavengers while the larger species are herbivores. Because they can cope with variations in temperature, wētā are found in all sorts of places – alpine areas, forests, grasslands, caves, shrub lands and…

  • Lilliput network to grow

    Lilliput network to grow

    Our network of Lilliput Libraries serving communities across the Upper Clutha is about to expand. Each library operates on a trust and exchange system. People can browse, borrow, take or leave a book. What’s not to love? These little boxes of literature popping up on our streets are each looked after by a volunteer guardian. There…

  • Schooling at home and the commuity

    Schooling at home and the commuity

    Homeschooling is full time education out of the traditional school classroom. It is an education option that a number of families across the Upper Clutha have chosen for their children. As the name homeschooling implies education is undertaken mostly at home but also within the community. This week families who homeschool visited the Wanaka Community…

  • New thinking about coffins

    New thinking about coffins

    Death Cafe Wanaka is an opportunity to meet as a community for the purpose of talking about life’s toughest topic. The Cafe meets regularly to embrace and honor the intricacies, ambiguities and mysteries surrounding how we seek meaning within the context of death and dying. The MenShed Team are working with members of the Death Cafe…

  • Keeping worms warm

    Keeping worms warm

    Winter is comming. For the Tiger Worms resident within the compost bins located at the Wanaka Community Gardens life can be tough during Winter. This week following a request from Grow Wanaka, the volunteers who manage the Wanaka Community Garden, the MenShed team have been building “lids” for each compost bin. The lids combined with…

  • What makes Wanaka strong

    What makes Wanaka strong

    Wanaka is a special place. This month research students from the University of Otago were in town seeking to understand what makes our community tick. The students sought advice and comment from many. The MenShed team hosted them twice – once for the interview, the second for a hand in completing a few projects. Nothing…

  • Hot metal

    Hot metal

    Almost two years back the Wanaka Community Workshop first opened with a wood working shop. A year later Fabricate, our textile and sewing work shop opened. From then to now both the wood shop and the textile shop have added new equipment and capability. This month we started work on the beginnings of a metal…

  • Après cycle

    Après cycle

    For over 20 years Bike Wānaka has been supporting the development and growth of mountain biking across the Upper Clutha region. Bike Wanaka have created a place where there is a ride for everyone. From beginner cross country riders through to die hard downhillers The MenShed team are working with Bike Wanaka to create facilities…

  • Its for the kids

    Its for the kids

    Plunket has long been New Zealand’s largest support service for the health and wellbeing of children and their families. From their Clinic in Wanaka, Plunket’s serves families across the Upper Clutha. This week the MenShed team completed a book shelf for Plunket. Built of re-cycled materials the book shelf is a small contribution to aid…

  • Repair Revolution Returns

    Repair Revolution Returns

    Last week Repair Revolution returned to the Wanaka Community Workshop. It was great to have it back. Repair Revolution is an event managed by Wastebusters and supported by the Queenstown Lakes District Council. Repair Revolution brings together a range of volunteers who apply their skills and experience to repairing items residents bring in. All sorts…