Delighted with completion: Arrowtown Menzshed chairman Russell Heckler, left, and treasurer Bob Farrell with their new facility


A community facility/workshop mainly pitched at retired men will be officially opened at the Arrowtown campground tomorrow.

Arrowtown Menzshed — a 66 square metre structure off Preston Drive — is part of a national movement of 100-plus Menzsheds.

It’s the idea of founder chairman Russell Heckler.

‘‘The problem in Arrowtown was we couldn’t afford to go and buy a section because the land’s too expensive and there are no empty buildings,’’ he says.

They were grateful to secure a site in the council-owned campground leased by Queenstowners Erna and Toni Spijkerbosch.

Negotiating with both council and the lessees meant the project has been several years in the making, Heckler says.

The Menzshed’s costing about $120,000 and has been supported by Central Lakes Trust, Community Trust South, Lottery Grants Board and Queenstown Lions.

With ITM’s support, the shed was lined at cost and the group’s been given a wood lathe, bandsaw and drill press.

Heckler says they’ve got about 35 members, paying $25 a year, but expects that to grow once they’re up and running.

‘‘It’s basically just for the wellbeing of men,’’ he explains, though women are also welcome.

‘‘You can just come along and have a cup of tea and a chat.’’

It’s also equipped for members to work on projects individually or together with plans to also work on community projects, like park benches outside the Lakes District Museum that need to be reconditioned.