A new library has opened up, with the aim of getting borrowers building and fixing rather than reading.

The Taranaki Community Tool Library, located in New Plymouth, was started by Tyron and his wife, Te Rau Hema.

The library has an assortment of tools the community can borrow.

"It works exactly like a library. People can borrow a tool they need and return it for the next person."

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To borrow the tools members pay a yearly fee.

"The fee covers maintenance and storage costs."

He says the idea came to him a year ago.

"I had the idea after my elderly neighbour had a leak in his guttering. He was living by himself and he had no tools. I thought to myself 'how many other people are in this situation and how can I help?'.

"Due to unforeseen circumstances we couldn't start at that time. We're now in a position where we can establish the library."

He says his goals are making tools affordable and accessible for the community.

"Our overall vision is to combat poverty, create relationships, build relevant skills and support those in need. We are wanting to lessen the cost and make tools accessible to the elderly and those who can not afford everyday or specific tools for repairs."

Tyron says he is wanting to build relationships within the community.

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"We are thinking about holding workshops to teach people about tools and how to use them properly.

"We are also planning to hold a few working bees to help people in need with repair work. It's a great way for people to meet and build relationships."

When not running their tool library, Tyron and his wife work in the health sector, dealing with Mental Health. He says positive community interactions are good for mental wellbeing.

"It would be great for people in the community to be able to build those relationships and find someone they trust and can confide in if they're having a hard time."

He says the workshops would start in New Plymouth, but he is hoping to hold them in other places as well.

"I would like to run workshops in Stratford, Manaia and Hāwera to make them accessible to everyone."

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He says the response from the community has been 'fantastic'.

"I put a post in a Facebook group asking if people have any old tools they can donate and the response has been amazing. I'm really thankful to the community for getting on board and helping."

While the date of opening is yet to be confirmed, Tyron says regular updates will be posted to the Taranaki Community Tool Library Facebook page.

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