Workbox on the Move

The Workbox is on the move to a new location where its comprehensive set of hand tools will provide an experience based learning opportunity for a community group. Contact us or Mega Mitre 10 if you wish to make use of this valuable asset.


Colin designs and builds rear and front trolley mechanisms for shifting the Work Box. Willem turns steel wheels on lathe.

If you get a shed, they will come

The Nelson Menzshed groups have merged and been given the Reliance Engineering building as a new base by the Nelson City Council.
An old engineering shed in Nelson has an enthusiastic bunch of new occupants in the form of Menzshed members.
Almost two years after the Nelson Menzshed asked the Nelson City Council for help in finding suitable premises, the organisation has a new home in the old Reliance Engineering building on Haven Rd.
The two urban Menzshed groups, Nelson and, Whakatū merged last year and are in the process of getting the shed set up. Co-chair Philip Chapman said the group had been given a year lease on the council-owned building and $10,000 from the community fund to get it going.
Fellow co-chair Denis Moriarty said the group were ‘‘absolutely delighted’’ with the space.
‘‘It’s exciting to have a roof over our heads because it has been a long time coming.’’
Moriarty said the group had about 50 members who came from different backgrounds and had a diverse range of skills.
It was ‘‘ hammer time’’ that brought them all together, the chance to work on projects, seek help from others and give back to the community.
The new premises included a design room, seminar room and of course, a smoko room.
‘‘It looks like everyone is just sitting around having a cup of tea but it is basically the engine room of a Menzshed, it’s about mateship, fellowship, fraternity and sharing ideas,’’ Moriarty said.
‘It’s not just about catering for a certain section of the community, it’s about what those people can give back as well.’’
Chapman said the council understood that men could suffer from social isolation in old age and that the Menzshed aimed to combat that.
‘‘All the research indicates it is males that don’t have networks so this shed fills a real gap for those men.
‘‘If you set up a support group for older men over a cup of coffee, no-one would come.
‘‘You set up a shed and you get hundreds.
‘‘There are hundreds of men with great skills just out there painting their letterbox for the tenth time, bored out of their trees,’’ Chapman said.
‘‘You will find incredible skills in the older generation and I think they are undervalued and they are disappearing so we need to teach some of these skills to younger guys.’’
Chapman said they were keen to hear from anyone who wanted to join, or had tools to donate and could help in getting the shed set up.
Anyone interested in joining the Menzshed can drop into the shed at 234 Haven Rd on Tuesday or Thursday from 9.00 am onwards.

Light Nelson Madhatter's Teaparty

Larrise Hall asked for help constructing a huge table for one of her entries in the Light Nelson Festival. The Nelson/Whakatu Menzshed came to the party. Below are a sequence of the day's effort. Saw horses and table tops had already been expertly consructed and these together with many 4 by 2's needed to be transported to the site at "The Queen's Gardens" all to be snuggly fitted together, but not without some initial head scratching and a blip or two.

Open Day at the Shed 27 October 2018

With a number of landmark events occurring at the Shed in recent weeks we decided to hold an Open Day to celebrate the fantastic progress that had been made since MNW moved into our new premises at the old Reliance engineering shop on Haven Rd. Primarily the Opening marked the fact that we are truly operational now, with a well appointed machine shop, smoko room, additional space for large projects, office space for seminars and meetings, and a number of other workshop bays including electrical repair, welding bay , metal turning , paint shop, carving area and boat repair.

The formal part of the day began with a unveiling of a traditional crafted wooden nameplate over our front entrance carved by father and son carvers Shane and Cairo, a supporting karakia, and an unveiling and speech by city councillor Stuart Walker to mark the occasion. Stuart noted the great progress that had been made by the group and how the setup had occurred so quickly and efficiently through the combined efforts of the members, while also reaffirming the councils commitment to continuing support of the Nelson Whakatu Menzshed initiative with appropriate funding and assistance with new purpose built premises in the future. A steady stream of visitors were welcomed with a sausage sizzle (compliments of Mega mitre 10) and a guided tour, with a number of new members joining up on the day.

Our host Sheddies received lots of positive feedback about the general buzz occurring in the Shed environment, the number of community assisted projects already implemented, and the great facilities and equipment that had been amassed and operational in the Shed itself. It also provided us with a additional opportunity to market our purpose and brand to fellow Nelsonians, including the launch of our new Community Assist programme, and it’s certainly an event we will replicate regularly in the future to keep in contact with our surrounding and supportive local community.

Escape Plan by Lee Woodman


Escape Plan by Lee Woodman

Hi Robert,
Thanks so much for your email and your enthusiasm for my sculpture, I'm glad to hear it spoke something to you. Yes certainly you can use any pictures for your website, just be clear in the credit it's part of the Nelson Suter Art Society Autumn show, within the Suter Art Gallery.
A good bunch of the ladders were made from timber Venetian blinds found at the recycling center!
I haven't been down to the menzshed yet, but I love the idea and will pop my head in someday. Zac is trying to entice me to join!


Community Project “Workbox”

A Three Way Community Partnership initiative

Nelson/Whakatu Menzshed / Mitre 10 Mega / Boxman Containers



1. Overview: Origins, Background, Contributions and Philosophy of Workbox.

2. Specifications /Profile of Workbox Project

3. Development Timeline - Workbox

4. Safety Protocols - Workbox

5. Inventory of equipment - Workbox

6. Management Protocols - Workbox

7. Security Protocols - Workbox

8. Images of Workbox Concept and design

1. Overview Origins, Background, Contributions and Philosophy of Workbox.

Workbox’s origins arose from a need to provide a readily portable and well equipped workshop to support priority “Help and Build” projects in our local Nelson Community. Murray Leaning, the marketing Manager for Mitre 10 Mega, first suggested the idea in discussions as to how the newly formed Nelson/Whakatu Menzshed and his organisation could work more effectively and efficiently together on local community projects. Mega has undertaken to supply all material required to line the Worbox. Boxman, represented by James Brown, donated a perpetual leased and modified 20 ‘ container with flip up doors for our purposes. “Tradies” donated their time to the project to help fit out the interior with wiring and electrical work. A generous grant from the Rata Foundation - facilitated by Denis Moriarty, from Nelson Whakatu Menzshed, provided a grant of $15000 toward a full complement of tools and equipment. Another essential component to the practical implementation of Workbox has been engaging the appropriate people resources to “man” Workbox. Toward achieving this goal we decided to revisit and revamp the traditional culture of the classic “Kiwi Working Bee”, whereby volunteers get together informally and pool resources of time and work to focus on important community oriented projects. Our modern twist to this concept involves bringing the three essential partners together with their distinctively different contributions, so that the appropriate tools and gear always appear on time for the project with the requisite amount of Manpower!

Quite simply put… Workbox + Working Bee = Job Done!

2. WorkBox Profile - specifications

1 Portable Containerised workshop

2 Transportable by Lift and Shift flat deck Hi-Ab truck

3 Primarily stocked with power tools for most flexible use on site

4 Supported with selected 240v bench machine tools for precision cuts

5 Primary use is a base workshop for Working Bee style work

6 Secondary use is as a base workshop for DIY courses for all age groups seniors through to under 10s art primary school

7 Safety Management regimes that maximes safety with ease of usage.

8 Flexible use by partners with options for joint projects, single partner projects with various options re plant and personnel.

9 Maximised security arrangements to safeguard Box and contents.

10 Appropriate Management strategies to ensure efficient usage and longevity of the Project

3. Development Timeline for WorkBox

May 2017 Workbox idea conceived three partners sign on

October 2017 Nelson Menzshed apply to Rata foundation for funding - application is deferred

November 2017 Boxman modify container with flip up doo

March 2018 Workbox receives $15000 grant from Rata Foundation for fit out and tools.

April 2018 McKenzies apply base coat for Box

May – Dec2018 Workbox to NWM workshop for fitting out – interior lining/electricity/ shelving/benches/add.struts

Dec 2018 Nelson /Whakatu Menzshed arranges insurance paid through Rata

Dec 2018 Tools purchase and sponsorship arranged Murray /coordinated by NMW pd through Rata

Feb 2019 Install security measures

March 2019 Sponsorship logos painted on Box Mega to arrange

April 2019 Launch of WorkBox at Mitre 10

May 2019 Workbox ready for first community project

4. Safety Protocols for WorkBox

Acknowledgement: These safety rules are based on North Shore Mens Shed with some adaptions for our specific set up.

Nb The following system acknowledges that a wide variety of users from a range of organisations may be part of the workbox user team and that any safety system needs to be comprehensive yet simple enough to ensure that all users are best protected

Some general guidelines

1. Only qualified and trained users can operate machine tools (as distinct from battery powered or hand tools) in Workbox.

2. Trained Users will be identified colour coded Red hardhats and or vests vests )identifying their user rights

3. Barriers cones and joiner barriers will indicate/ delineate work zones and no go zones where these red zone machine tools will operate . Only qualified trained users will be allowed in the inner cordon of machine users.

4. Untrained Helpers (and children) will identified with green helmets will work in specially designated outdoor zones with battery tools (adults) and hand tools (children) only. They will be provided with safety briefings re. gear and appropriate level tools. Children will be tutored in a formal group situation using workbenches and hand tools tailored to their needs

Each community project will have been approved by a Combined Partnership Community Project committee (CPCPC) with an appropriate Safety Action Plan (SAP) approved by the appointed Project leader who will be responsible for its implementation.

5. Inventory of equipment – Workbox Tools and Equipment Register/ wish-list and purchase list

Additional Notes to stock take / INVENTORY

Murray has negotiated a special deal with De Walt suppliers which will ensure Maximisation of spending power for many tools listed

The above inventory of tools forms the basis of the gear capability of the workbox machine workshop and ancillary tools. Capabilities will include portable workbenches, collapsible portable work benches for childrens workshops and projects, w storage shelves for portable power tools, “power banks’ for recharging power tool batteries, and LED lighting and 240v power cabling for battery recharging.

NB. A final audit list will be compiled on completion of tools purchase and posted I hard copy on the wall of Workbox for Ezi reference and plant audit and management purposes.

6. Management Protocols - WorkBox

Nb all management protocols are by agreement between the 3 partners of Workbox

1. Annual Community Project Plan for WorkBox 2019 edit - generated by Community needs and vetted by Combined Partnership Community Project Committee (CPCPC) Appendix 6

2. Memorandum of understanding signed by the 3 partners specifying ownership/usage details/on-going responsibilities/management of the Workbox project Appendix 1

3. Workbox Protocols Manual to be drawn up and agreed to by 3 partners. (as read)

4. Declaration of accounts of spending Rata foundation donation to WorkBox Appendix 2

5. An annual projected financial budget and Specific income streams to support the WorkBox Programme which will ensure that the Programme operates as a no debt/ non profit project. Appendix 3

6. A Workbox Community Project JOBSHEET form be developed that includes a zero budgeted visit by the Workbox Team on each visit ( and necessarily includes some costs of the visit to be covered by the recipient

( eg transport of Worbox to and from project site to Menzshed HQ) - Appendix 4

7. A Evaluation process be developed to gauge the success of each WorkBox Community project and overall impact and success of WorkBox for reporting purposes (eg to Rata Foundation) appendix 5

7. Security Protocols – WorkBox

1. Superior padlocks on Workbox doors, one padlock surrounded by anti -tamper box

2 Limited issue of keys to strategic personnel via Key register

3. Lockable cabinet storage for power tools.

4. Security cameras installed internally.

5. ID “Menzshed ”markings on all tools

6. Key pad Alarm system and optional monitoring system.

7. Exterior Alarm security signs.

8. Internal storage of Workbox when not used on security projects at Menzshed base.

9. Key issuing system.

10. Full insurance for Transport and Box and contents

11. Audit checks of Workbox and tools at beginning and end of projects to minimise loses.

12. Contents labels on all storage cabinets for easy access and audit.

Appendices relating to WorkBox Operations

Appendix 1 Memorandum of Understanding between the 3 Partners : WorkBox ownership and Management

The three partners Boxman /Mega Mitre 10Menzshed Nelson Whakatu

Agree to the following basic precepts in the setting up and operation of our joint community oriented project Workbox -the new original containerised portable workshop .

1 The container housing the workshop is the property of the partner project for as long as the project remains operational , however the arrangement is understood to be a long term lease, with ownership remaining with Boxman throughout thereby ensuring its return to Boxman should the partnership cease to operate. Boxman pledge to carry out appropriate modifications to the container to kick start the project.

2. Menzshed Nelson Whakatu pledge to gain appropriate funding for the tools and fittings of Workbox, and undertake any work required to complete the interior outfitting. The tools and fittings contained in the Workbox become the property of Menzshed Nelson Whakatu , and in the event of the Workbox ceasing to operate, all tools and contents will be transferred to the current premises of Menzshed Nelson Whakatu. Menzshed Nelson Whakatu undertake to formulate a comprehensive workbox protocols manual , which details appropriate systems for the overall management of Workbox including such aspects and guidelines relating to safety /ongoing operational funding, and maintenance and replacement of tools and equipment.

3. Mega Mitre 10 pledge to assist in the supply of Hardware materials and sundries to fit out the interior of the Workbox by providing appropriate funds via account credits, tradie rates for purchases, and encourage suitable trades and businesses to contribute their services and products toward identified components required for Work Box 4.

4. The three partners agree to meet and formulate a Operational Calendar for each year. Identifying and agreeing which projects the workbox will be used for, and taking responsibility for leading any projects they identify themselves as being the lead partner in and all this involves, with regards particularly to safety protocols, workbox security, transportation costs ,project leadership and supervision on site

So agreed Nelson Menzshed Nelson Whakatu rep Denis Moriarty Boxman rep James Brown Mega Mitre 10 rep Murray Leaning

Appendix 2 Declaration of budget and spending of Rata foundation donation to WorkBox

Appendix 3 Annual projected financial budget and Specific income streams to support the WorkBox Programme 2019

National Conference

National Conference

MENZSHED NZ Regional update Marlborough, Nelson, Tasman

From: Secretary, MENZSHED NZ <>
Date: Wed., 2 May 2018, 13:17

Gidday sheds and sheddies,

The MENZSHED NZ Conference last weekend was well attended by 80+ sheddies (and some partners) from 35 NZ sheds.  There was an Aussie sheddie and two from the Australian Men’s Shed Association.  The Auckland team did us proud.  From our patch, Alan Kissell & Mike Marran (Waimea), Dave Oliver (Blenheim), David Mayes & Allan Butland (Havelock) and me (Tapawera) attended.  A summary of the conference is being prepared and will be distributed to sheds.  AGM minutes too.

I’m still filling in the regional role until a sheddie is keen to step up.  There is one offer but it will be 2-3 months yet before he can take over.

Men’s sheds are great places for making all manner of personal and community items and enjoying a natter with mates.  Men’s health is an important part of our business too.  I have established a relationship with the Health Promotion Manager at Nelson Bays Primary Health who has kindly offered to provide me with material relevant to our sheddies.  My intention is to send something each quarter that I hope you will forward on to your sheddies and pin to your noticeboard.  
Sheddies who have a Facebook account may wish to join the MENZSHED NZ forum.  We have about 60 members.  Join here
That’s it guys, happy shedding.
Roger Bowman, Secretary

Postal Address:
17 Lakehouse Cres
Richmond 7020
Telephone 027 8822448