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Tool belts on at Menzshed

The new signage at Tairawhiti Menzshed’s Parkinson Street premises is a reminder the club is open for business . . . and pleasure.

It’s a place for men to meet and have social contact, to do work or just have a good old gossip, says club chairman James Aramoana.

The Menzshed is a fully-equipped work space with drills, saws and other tools for the many woodwork and carpentry projects club members undertake.

People are welcome to bring in their own projects and use the gear, says Mr Aramoana.

“We want people to know we are here and what we offer.”

At the Menzshed, members make toys, indoor/outdoor furniture, decorations, gifts, playground equipment and more.

“If you have a project you are working on and need some help, Tairawhiti Menzshed could be the place for you.”

Club secretary John Humphris says it’s the perfect place for people who have a bit of time on their hands and want to meet others.

They can work on projects individually or in teams.

As one of the supervisors, he can oversee and help with carpentry projects so people can learn as they go.

They have almost finished one project — which is a large board table for the Gisborne Volunteer Centre — and have done a lot of work for kindergartens, replacing wooden puzzle pieces and fixing broken toys.

“We’ve done about 40 to 50 puzzles for kindies,” said Mr Humphris.

Menzshed Tairawhiti is a remedy for social isolation and the committee is working hard to make it a thriving hub in the community.

There are members with specialist skills.

Dane Polkinghorne is a cabinet-maker and joiner and can offer guidance for those new to DIY.

And it’s not exclusively for men. Menzshed Tairawhiti has a couple of female members, including Joy, who has learned how to use most of the tools and has made everything from planter boxes for her garden to wooden toys for the grandchildren.

There will be an open day on Saturday, March 16, at 12 Parkinson Street (on the corner Innes St) with a barbecue from 9am to 1pm.

People are welcome to take a look around and see some of the projects the club has been working on.

Tairawhiti Menzshed is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and is supported by Gisborne District Council and other Gisborne businesses.

There is a Facebook page for those wanting to find out more.

IT'S A PLANE, IT'S A BOAT, IT'S A HOVERCRAFT: Tairawhiti Menzshed members John Humphris (front) Chris Evans and Michael Braybrook work on a multi-purpose wooden toy that can be a plane, boat or hovercraft. Pictures by Rebecca Grunwell
Tairawhiti Menzshed brings people together in a workshop environment and provides facilities to work on personal or community projects. Pictured at the Parkinson Street premises are, front (from left): Mr Evans, Menzshed chairman James Aramoana and Mr Braybrook, Back: Steve Evett and club secretary Mr Humphris.