New Zealand Men’s Shed Inaugural Conference 2010

Dear Contact

I am sending this invitation for you to respond personally to or forward to any interested party to

  1. give expressions of interest of numbers interested in attending a national conference in Masterton from Friday April 9th to Sunday April 11th 2010
  2. to confirm contact details for specific sheds
  3. to consider the establishment of a National Association of Men’s Sheds in NZ.

While getting a local shed up and running is very much head down and tail up concern in a local area, several of the basic tenets of getting Men’s sheds together in a more strategic sense are

    • combining the energies of organizers and coordinators,
    • encouraging positive action and support for men both inside and outside the Shed environment,
    • preventing unnecessary duplication of effort,  and
    • gaining traction politically to advance the benefits of and funding for men’s sheds, while broadening associations with other agencies and organizations.

In short, more contacts to interact with, greater support, and the strengthening of local sheds through networking.

Peter McNeur and I attended the 2nd National Conference for Men’s Sheds in Australia in 2007 and made a commitment to foster the concept in NZ once we returned. In this light, Peter as the Director of Wairarapa Reap, has offered to host such an important first step and invites us to take advantage of

  1. a cheap $30 return train ride from Wellington ( being a logical central transport destination)
  2. cheaper accommodation than Wellington
  3. an infrastructure that can run the conference at low cost
  4. a state of the art, purpose built Henley men’s shed (see below) as a venue
  5. a commitment to provide the very best information for Men in New Zealand.

Please return your responses to this email to and Peter at (PDF Version with pics as an attachment can be sent to others you may know of who could be interested. I appreciate that some of you will have received similar requests for information before but the request this time is to establish a national data base of men’s sheds and list of contacts for future in formation and the 2010 conference in particular).

Your responses to the following sections will assist us with the development of a national database and conference organization.

  • Name of Shed
  • Physical address of Shed
  • Shed Status:   under whose umbrella / agency?
    • operating  (YES / NO)     duration for ? (     Months)    Preparing to open in (     ) months
  • Contact person
  • Position
  • Contact address
  • Contact email address
  • Contact Phone Numbers
  • Web page
  • Anticipated numbers from your shed / region interested in attending April 9-11 2010

Such a conference needs to meet your needs, your area’s needs and those of prospective delegates. Help us with organization of the conference by recording your responses to the following issues.

  • What you want to get out of such a conference?
  • Think about programme for Friday: Wellington – a tour of  Wgtn Sheds?
  • Departure for Masterton  (Friday 9th April) 4.33pm? 5.33pm? 6.18pm?
  • Departure for Wellington  (Sunday 11th April) 7.50am? 4.50pm?
  • Own transport?
  • Programme;  having visited a number of sheds in Australia and UK, and the two previous conferences in Australia, you might need to consider your own immediate needs in terms of shed development as a priority? I noticed the focus has changed in Aussie. Startup was more of a focus for 2007 conference whereas Men’s Health via outside agencies was more prominent this year.  I think startup and sustainability might be a principal concern of an initial conference in NZ which could include aspects of OSH, insurance / funding.   To help us aim to meet your needs please provide brief comments relating to
    • NZ Men’s shed advocates only?
    • Overseas guests included?
    • Key topics to be covered?
    • Your immediate needs?
    • Expert support / input? Research etc
    • Legal matters – trusts / charitable status / policies
    • Activities for conference?
    • Displays?
    • Sponsorship?
    • Offers of papers?
    • Association name / mechanism / goals?

Remember, to send responses to Peter McNeur and cc to

me  – easiest via the email that this pdf file is attached to. If you want another copy directly please email me accordingly at

As we all approach the end of an eventful year, I wish you all well in the work you are doing to support men doing well together.

Kind regards

Dr Neil Bruce

Former Director Community Learning Centre

Melville and Cambridge High Schools

Chair Hamilton Community Men’s Shed

C/- 166 State Highway 26

RD6, Newstead

Hamilton 3286

Home Ph / Fx +64 7 856 0054

mob 021 1545026



About cacenz
Counties ACE Network began approx 2004/5. Our meetings are for anyone with an interest in, or are providers (generally not for profit organisations, community groups, tutors, learners) of Adult and Community Education. We are a not for profit organisation. It was initially a Tertiary Education Commission initiative that ensured that providers were also able to connect with community in different forums. Since then the network has developed to also provide Professional Development to the groups etc that it supports as well as the learners. We have polytechs, schools, community groups, tutors, individuals (learners) that are currently in our database. We also attend national (and international) conferences, hui where possible on a variety of subjects/topics that we can disseminate information back into our communities. Although funded Community Education is normally considered for 16 , we believe in an holistic family approach to education and where we are able we also share that information as well.

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