Our History

The development of the Hibiscus Men's Shed stems from the success of the North Shore Men's Shed opened in 2013 and from the support of the Chairman of The North Shore Men's Shed Trust; an Orewa resident who recognised that the rapidly-growing Hibiscus Coast demographic could support a new Shed. With support from the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board, a public meeting held in May led to the establishment of the local Trust.

The Men's Shed movement in NZ developed from a similar organisation originating in Australia, where there are now over 1500 such facilities. The number in NZ is growing rapidly, with 93 already underway or in operation and mostly affiliated to the NZ 'Menzshed' umbrella organisation. The movement has spread throughout the UK, Canada, Denmark and Sweden. These NZ project 'Sheds' are all funded by Public, Private, Community and/or Council grants and donations with, in most cases, machinery donated by deceased estates or families down-sizing.

The Sheds are open to all community members, but primarily target men in retirement; many of whom find themselves with surplus time and often having lost 'man space' in downsizing. The Shed will provide a not-for-profit community facility in the form of a workshop to which members can drop in and spend time chatting and working on either personal or community support tasks, using the machinery provided, and/or partaking of general camaraderie – often forgone once divorced from a lifetime in the workforce, the loss of which can impact on the mental and physical health that workplace human interaction provides.

Since inception, the Hibiscus Men’s Shed Trust developed a comprehensive strategic plan and engaged with Hibiscus & Bays Local Board and Auckland Council staff regarding a number of local sites in an effort to find a suitable Coast location. To date, a steady supply of machinery, hand tools, fixtures and fittings have been generously donated by many community folk and were safely stored, courtesy of Guardian Storage in Silverdale, prior to being brought into use in our temporary Shed at Brightside Road.

The Hibiscus Coast area has a very high 13.3% proportion of males 65-84 (last census) and a further 3.3% on the 60-64 bracket. Given the ratios of membership and attendance in some of the Auckland 'Sheds' our budgets would suggest that we have a potential membership in excess of 200 and accordingly we will try to cater for this number.

The building design and planning team met every two weeks and, whilst being somewhat time consuming, enabled the Trustees to work through a number of issues, create a Strategic Plan, debate the type of facility to build and receive quotes for its erection and examine potential sites on local Council owned reserves. This culminated in lodging a Community Lease Application which has now been approved.

Resulting from media coverage in local papers, response from our community has been wonderful with many donations of machinery, hand tools and other miscellaneous equipment for fitting out our shed, which we were able to accumulate and safely store in a storage unit generously donated by Guardian Storage in Silverdale.

2016 saw us begin to focus on meeting and developing working relationships with other local support organisations through a 'Community Connections' programme whilst we proceed through the myriad hoops and hurdles necessary to see our shed vision through to reality. The building was designed and has been approved, with Resource Consent also now obtained.

The Auckland City Council represented by the Hibiscus & Bays Local Board is proving extremely accommodating and helpful in getting this project off the ground.

Hibiscus Mens Shed Trust has been Incorporated Society 2628193 and Registered Charity CC53197.

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