Author: Ian Maxwell

  • 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…

  • Walk the talk

    Walk the talk

    Never let it be said MenShed team are not versatile. This month the Wanaka Community Workshop was transformed to host Re-fashion – a fashion show cut differently. With the support of Queenstown Lakes District Council, Wastebusters Wanaka and Fabricate led the transformation. The aim was to show what can be achieved with recycled and upcycled…

  • Grounded

    Grounded

    The Wanaka Community Workshop regularly hosts Kahu Youth – in particular the team known as Grounded. Grounded are youth who are focused on improving our natural environment. The team are aiming to enhance recycling at Mt Aspiring College – Te Kura O Tititea. To achieve this the team are building two depots to locate at…

  • New workshop tables

    New workshop tables

    Jim Bob has been a resident of Wanaka throughout much of his life. Being a builder there are few places across the Upper Clutha which have not benefited from his skill and experience – houses, shops, community and farm buildings. Today the MenShed team benefits from Jim Bob’s skill – and his stories! This week…

  • Scoring petanque

    Scoring petanque

    The best evidence as to the strength of our community across the Upper Clutha is the number and range of community organisations associations and clubs. The newest is the Wanaka Petanque Club. The Club has established itself with a new outdoor terrain or court located in Three Parks near the entrance to the Recreation Centre.…

  • Stuffed Stoat

    Stuffed Stoat

    The MenShed Team at the Wanaka Community Workshop make traps – traps targeting pests such as stoats and rats. It came as a surprise therefore when we were asked to create housing for a stoat. It became clear when we found out the animal was expired, dead – stuffed in fact. The aim is to…

  • Welcoming new arrivals

    Welcoming new arrivals

    Some 18 months ago the Wanaka Community Workshop was a new element in our community. Its great therefore that the Workshop can now play a role in welcoming new members to our community. The Workshop enables folk to practically establish themselves in their new home. They may involve creating some furniture or storage units. Workshop…

  • Wheels on Wanaka

    Wheels on Wanaka

    Over Easter Weekend our community hosted Wheels on Wanaka – a significant event dealing with everything on wheels. In order to aid folk getting around the large site in Three Parks a shuttle bus service is provided. The MenShed team supported the event by converting wooden pallets into seating for each of the bus stops.…

  • Our trap library

    Our trap library

    The Wanaka Community Workshop is also home to Wanaka Backyard Trapping – well at least their trap library. The trap library permits members of Wanaka Backyard Trapping to borrow various types of traps targeting pests such as stoats and rats. Each week members get a chance to learn how to best use the traps. This…

  • The Lions Club gives a helping hand

    The Lions Club gives a helping hand

    Thanks to the Wanaka and Districts Lion Club, the Wanaka Community Workshop have commissioned a range of new tools – battery powered drills, wood clamps and hand tools. The Lions Club and its members play a key role in ensuring our local community remains strong and vibrant. Through their support the MenShed team operating from…

  • Great skills shown by Kahu youth

    Great skills shown by Kahu youth

    This week the Wanaka Community Workshop hosted members of the “Grounded Team” of Kahu Youth. The team are using the Workshop to build new infrastructure for Mt Aspiring College. The new build takes the form of two recycling bases. Each base will be capable of holding three wheelie bins providing for the separation of rubbish.…

  • A safer community thanks to the Graham and Olive West Trust

    A safer community thanks to the Graham and Olive West Trust

    Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in New Zealand. It can happen to anyone – anywhere. In an emergency easy and quick access to a defibrillator can make the difference between life and death. Its scary but the chance of survival decreases by 10 percent for each minute that passes…

  • Nesting box’s for Ruru

    Nesting box’s for Ruru

    The Upper Clutha is home to a couple of night time avian predators – the native Morepork or Ruru and the Little Owl. The Morepork can be heard (and sometimes seen) in bush areas within the built up areas of Wanaka. Little Owls can be seen around dusk and dawn on the edge of bush…

  • A better dog house

    A better dog house

    Wastebusters is a Wanaka icon. A place where items unwanted by some are purchased for re-use by others. Every now and then one can find a treasure – exactly what you are looking for. An example recently was a dog kennel – picked up at Wastebusters for a new pet. All that was needed was…

  • Creating something special

    Creating something special

    The Wanaka Community Workshop regularly hosts visitors to our region. Taking a break from cycling Emily took the opportunity to create a play space for her two year old – a fairy tree house. “Its great to work with the MenShed team and create something special, with your hands”, said Emily. She also came back…

  • Workshop attracts travelers

    Workshop attracts travelers

    The Wanaka Community Workshop is proving popular with visitors. Over recent months the Workshop has hosted folk seeking to create, maintain or enhance accommodation facilities in their vans. They originate from around the world – South America, Australia, Europe and North America. Following comments on social media sites and word of mouth visitors are attracted…

  • Jan/Feb 2023 Progress Report

    Jan/Feb 2023 Progress Report

    Prepared by Ian – He is a real trooper. Attendance 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…

  • Great Grebe emerges

    Great Grebe emerges

    The Fabricate team at the Wanaka Community Workshop are well advanced in creating a Great Grebe. Unlike the Grebes found on the Lake, this one can walk on land. Not so good at flying however! The new costume is bound to be a feature at the upcoming Wanaka A&P Show. Perhaps a new icon for…

  • Learning about geko’s and skinks

    Learning about geko’s and skinks

    Learning about geko’s and skinks @Te Kakano Aotearoa Trust Wanaka is part of the network of community groups serving the Upper Clutha. Te Kakano through working with agencies, groups and individuals across our district seeks to protect healthy ecosystems and community wellbeing for years to come. A key element of Te Kakano’s efforts is focused…

  • Trap R & M

    Trap R & M

    Across the Upper Clutha thousands of traps are doing the business – helping to rid our district of pests such as stoats and rats. Being located in the outdoors the traps endure a tough life. Temperatures which fluctuate seasonally from 10-12 degrees below zero to 30 degrees above with long dry periods and periodic deluges…

  • Latest lilliput library

    Latest lilliput library

    Over the last year the MenShed team have built a number of lilliput libraries. The small libraries are managed by staff of the Queenstown Lakes District Council from Wanaka Library. They can be found in Hawea, Luggate as well as Wanaka. The latest to open is right outside the Wanaka Community Workshop in Gordon Road.…

  • Introducing a new machine

    Introducing a new machine

    This week the MenShed team commissioned a new machine at the Wanaka Community Workshop. The new machine is a planer thicknessor – a presision tool which will permit the team to upcycle timber as well as improve the quality of our products. The machine was purchased with a grant from the Queenstown Lakes District Council.…

  • In production for our A&P show

    In production for our A&P show

    The team at the MenShed are gearing up for the Wanaka A&P Show. The Wanaka Community Workshop is sharing a stall with a range of environmental and community groups. Its great working together with groups who are also making a difference for our community. For the stall the team are constructing easels to display signage…

  • Growing success

    Growing success

    Late last year the team at the MenShed built raised gardens at the pre school in Hawea. The project was a joint affair with funding provided by Wanaka Rotary. In their final days at school the kids planted out their new gardens. This week we received images of the success of their efforts. What a…

  • Action at fabricate

    Action at fabricate

    The fabricate studio within the Wanaka Community Workshop is a busy place. This week the years first learn the sew course commenced. The course runs an evening a week for 5 weeks. The end result will be a shirt and the skills learnt that can be applied to any project. This week the fabricate team…