To onlookers, it is a simple shed. To local men of Katikati, it is a common space to gather with others with similar interests to create, build, learn, meet new people and chat.
The key benefit of the Shed is having a purposeful space to gather. Although all ages are welcome, MenzShed’s main purpose is to give older, retired men a place to share skills, experiences, stories, laugh and offer support to each other in various and meaningful ways.
The Katikati MenzShed also benefits the wider community through commissioned projects. Along with this, the men themselves gain pride in community service, broader friendship groups and companionship.
The Menzshed was displaced from their previous site a number of years ago but, thankfully, Katikati College offered their premises for after school and Saturday use as a temporary solution. Fortunately, the MenzShed, in collaboration with the Community Van and Community Patrol organisations, successfully responded to an expression of interest sought by Western Bay District Council for the building of a community facility on a vacant piece of Council land.
Chairman Don Mossop says they can now continue doing jobs for the community for years to come.
“Katikati people are highly appreciative of the work we do. We have assisted the local Play Centre, Council, Katch Katikati and Grow On Katikati with projects over the last few years,” says Don.
“We have men with a wide range of skills, years of experience and the time to utilise their skills and knowledge to help with smaller jobs that are often not a priority for tradies.”
After Ron Boggiss’ initial vision in 2012, the Katikati MenzShed has continued to help their community after their first job of making 25,000 joint discs for teddy bears so their arms and legs could move.
The MenzShed has since completed projects such as making signage, picnic tables, and rodent traps for their community.
$100,000 was granted to Western Bay of Plenty District Council by TECT to go towards the new shared community facility.
TECT also provided a $17,853 grant directly to Katikati MenzShed for their replacement spiral thicknesser and a new Dust Extractor, a vital machine for the health and wellbeing of those using the space.
TECT Trustee, Mark Arundel, says that as a community-focused trust, TECT provides support for local initiatives, facilities, and events that bring vibrancy, connectedness, growth and economic benefits to the region.
“For the Katikati MenzShed to now have a home and future, and a sense of permanence, they can focus on growing their membership numbers and expanding their skills and services, which will continue to support the wider community in return.”
The new MenzShed building is located at 33 Middlebrook Drive, Katikati, and will allow normal daytime open hours to return. The members are excited to see more local men walk through the door and plan to open the space up to other community groups.
Katikati MenzShed member and Secretary Dave Watson mentioned they have seen a few younger men enquire, which is promising for a broader range of members.
“For the outstanding support from Katikati College, who allowed us to use the Technology Workshops for the last couple of years, the committee has set up an annual scholarship to help a Katikati College student who is moving on to an apprenticeship,” says Dave. Through a scholarship, we can provide some support to a young person starting out and show them their community backs them.”
The Katikati MenzShed is currently open Monday, Thursday and Saturday from 9am onwards for men, with membership an affordable $10 per annum. Other days will become available, under the supervision of qualified Menzshed members, to any community members or groups that may have projects to undertake.
To learn more about the Shed and how to become a member to broaden your skills and help the community, email email@example.com.