Menz Shed on the way for Porirua City


Got a re­tired hus­band get­ting un­der your feet? Just hold on be­cause help is on the way.

Porirua is about to get its very own mens shed - or Menz Shed - part of an in­ter­na­tional move­ment pro­vid­ing a place for men to gather and con­trib­ute to their com­mu­nity.

Ca­role Brown had spent the past two years work­ing on get­ting the shed up and run­ning, partly as a civil duty and partly self preser­va­tion, she said.

‘‘When my hus­band re­tires it would be nice to have it there,’’ she laughed.

It was mainly women cam­paign­ing for a shed to be built in Porirua, the re­tired school teacher said.

‘‘They’d tell me their hus­band was just get­ting un­der their feet so I bet­ter hurry up and get it or­gan­ised.’’

Jok­ing aside, Brown said the sheds pro­vided an im­por­tant com­mu­nity re­source and could be the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death for some users.

‘‘Men’s men­tal well­be­ing is so im­por­tant and they need to con­nect and so­cialise.

‘‘A shed can re­ally be a life­line, I’ve heard one man say he wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for his shed.’’

Once Porirua’s shed is up and run­ning Brown planned to step back and vol­un­teer her ser­vices else­where.

‘‘The men have to learn to run it them­selves. It will be en­tirely up to them.’’

She did hope that the shed would be a place men could get health ad­vice as well as pass on skills to some of Porirua’s unem- ployed young peo­ple.

‘‘It would be good for those young men who might not have a fa­ther in their lives.’’

With the new lo­ca­tion all but con­firmed, the shed would open in the next few months, Brown said.

Chair­man of the New Zealand Menz Shed or­gan­i­sa­tion, Ray Hall, said Porirua’s shed would bring the num­ber of New Zealand sheds to 114.

New Zealand’s first sheds opened in Dunedin and Hamil­ton in 2008, he said.

‘‘From my per­spec­tive, the suc­cess of sheds in New Zealand il­lus­trates how men and some women can take the shed con­cept and turn it into a re­al­ity with the sup­port of the com­mu­nity.’’

A public meet­ing for any­body in­ter­ested in the Porirua shed is be­ing held on Jan­uary 26 at the Porirua Club, Lodge Pl, 7pm.


Andy Tyler and Bruce Dawson at Napier’s Menz Shed.

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