The sweet sound of power tools will pierce the air when the much-anticipated Waihi Beach Menz Shed gets underway later this year.
A sanctuary mainly for men — under the umbrella of registered charity Menzshed New Zealand — is to be built in Waihi Beach hopefully before the end of the year.
The idea for a bloke haven (although it won't be exclusive to men) has been in the planning stages since early this year by a group of Waihi Beach handymen who see a massive need in the community for such a service.
The plan was hatched by Don Fraser, Brian Baynes, Don Oliver, Tom Wallace, Lloyd McGechie and Kerry Lewis. They have received use of the reserve land at the back of Waihi Beach Community Centre from Western Bay of Plenty District Council.
They have also received $30,000 from Waihi Beach Community Board and building will commence on the $100,000 project once fundraising is completed.
The group (The Waihi Beach Development Charitable Trust steering committee) is excited about the new venture which they foresee will be a real service and link to the community.
The national men's shed ethos is to provide a place for men to come relax, tinker and shoot the breeze — but Waihi Beach Menz Shed will also have a heavily community focus.
They envisage giving help to community groups and initiatives, schools, council initiatives for projects and fix-up jobs — without taking work off local tradies. Groups will be able to use the new building. The committee already have a few interested clubs hoping to use the facility or to recruit their skills.
The direction the shed will take is fluid, says chairman Brian Baynes. They will consider all community-based projects and are open to teaching their skills as well.
An income will be generated through contract work and the sale of made goods.
Retirement can be quite a change for men, especially tradesmen, who suddenly don't know what to do with themselves. For some, having time on their hands can be a downward spiral. Men's sheds help to provide this social element.
Waihi Beach's population is on the rise and there is a big retiree community, says committee member Don Fraser.
''There's also such a thing as retired husband syndrome, or 'underfoot syndrome','' he says, referring to men needing something to occupy their time when they retire, outside the home.
The men are amazed at their progress. They are also humbled by generosity of the Waihi Beach community. People and businesses have come out of the woodwork, offering free labour and materials at cost for plumbing, drainage and electrical work as well as internet help and setting up a website.
They are also stoked with their central location between the community centre and the skatepark. Plans to make the skatepark of international standard is a big plus as well.
''Anyone can come along,'' Brian says. ''We are happy to train up youth trades people. We're here for people to join in or just come along and have a coffee.''
The build should be underway by the end of the year. The building will be 8m by 12m. Landscaping of the area is planned, and a big garden is also in the plans.