No job is too small for the Featherston Menz Shed, and a plate of scones for payment -- though very much appreciated -- is not a prerequisite.

Vice-president Rod Lonsdale said helping someone else out, even just the simple act of changing a lightbulb or tightening a screw, was what the shed was all about.

Mr Lonsdale, along with fellow shed members Richard Burgess and Alf Page, spent their last two Tuesdays building a woodshed for a retired couple of the town.

"One of the neighbours to one of our members had a little woodshed deteriorate into a state where it was no longer safe."


Shed members decided to build the couple a new lean-to, in which they could store their firewood.

Mr Lonsdale said the homeowner had supplied the materials and helped the Menz Shed trio with the construction.

"It wasn't a huge job ... we spent most of the time eating a wonderful barbecue lunch."

Mr Lonsdale said the Menz Shed was there to do odd jobs that would not appeal to local tradesmen.

"One of our criteria is that we don't take work off the businessmen in town, but this is just a job they probably wouldn't want. We have improved it so it looks nice, it's tidy and all new and it will last another 50 years," Mr Lonsdale said.

He said the shed was a place where retired people could put their life skills to use.

"The older people in the town who are retired can come in and help some of the even older ones. Older ladies will come in and ask for us to change a lightbulb or a screw in their loose toilet roll holder.

"There is no charge, we are happy to go along and help if we can. And if we get a batch of scones at the end of the day that's great, but it's something we just love to do for the community.

"Let's face it -- no electrician wants to go over to a house and put in a lightbulb."

When Featherston Library needed new pickets for its fence -- because of "local kids ripping them off to use as swords" -- the Menz Shed came to the rescue. "They asked us to make them some more because they couldn't buy any as they had stopped making them years ago."

The shed made additional pickets that have been stored away for the library's future use.

Featherston Menz Shed president and South Wairarapa District councillor Colin Olds said: "The community support from the members of our Menz Shed is phenomenal. And for them to give up their time to help out a couple in our town is an accolade on the individuals concerned and is a real credit to the Menz Shed."