Menzshed Volunteers – make a difference
Thanks to the volunteer effort, expertise and generosity of the Waikanae Menzshed, the Trust is ‘full steam ahead’ restoring a World War II U.S.Marines hut and re-positioning it Queen Elizabeth Park.
Trust Chair Jenny Rowan with Menzshed volunteers.
Menzshed volunteers have now completely demolished a Raumati cottage donated to the Trust by Paekakariki owners Sarah Brown and Grant Cunliffe. The house was built from two former Marines Huts and the volunteers have been painstakingly removing heritage timber, from the site, taking it their Rangihiroa Street depot to re-build it, into a new version of its former self.
“This is a dream come true and a wonderfully innovative and affordable way to restore important heritage buildings in an environment where we might otherwise struggle for funding,” says Trust Chair Jenny Rowan.
Jenny and a group of volunteers from Paekakriki trialled the method when they restored the Category 1 signal box on Paekakariki Station back in 2008 - using existing timber on the box as well as heritage timber re-claimed from the old Paekakariki Hotel.
“It was such a positive project and achieved such a positive result, we thought it was worth trying again.” she said.
Enlisting heritage architect, Chris Cochran who oversaw the Signal Box Project, the restoration of Paekakariki Station, and the St Peters Village Hall was a great bonus and the Menzshed volunteer contribution was “icing on the cake”, she says.
With over 90 volunteers, the award-winning Waikanae Menzshed has been operating since 2010. They started in a 40 square metre shed, which was part of the Waikanae Depot previously run by the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC).
Over the last few years, the group has expanded its operations to accommodate a growing demand for its popular services. They have completed hundreds of community projects for the Department of Conservation, education and community groups, and have recently built Anzac Day Crosses for KCDC and the Wellington City Council.
Some of their more unique projects include building penguin nesting boxes, stoat traps and bumble bee nests for conservation groups.
Menzshed volunteer Allan Muxlow says the Huts Restoration “fits exactly with what the Menzshed is all about, and more.”