Men’s Shed Toolbox

The Toolbox is a resource for intended and existing sheds and their officers, compiled by MENZSHED NEW ZEALAND Inc.

Errors, updates, suggestions?  Please contact 

This resource has been put together as an aid for emerging or established sheds to set up as a legal entity and includes some suggestions about important administrative matters.  A significant number of links to other resources are scattered throughout, there is little point in developing again what has already been created by experts.

Sheds are encouraged to contact the nearest MENZSHED NZ regional representative for support…. 

They are able to:

  • give you advice and guidance specific to your circumstances 

  • introduce you to sheds in your area that you may wish to visit

  • provide sections 8 and 9 of the toolbox (normally accessible only to member sheds) and

  • otherwise assist you to establish your new shed.


1 Disclaimer

MENZSHED NZ Inc does not impose any requirements on sheds as to how they create their rules and implement financial, health and safety matters.  The shed management team or governing body must attend too and take full responsibility for those matters.

2 MENZSHED NZ – Purpose

The objects for which MENZSHED NZ is established are to meet the needs of its member sheds by:

  • Providing support and resources for member sheds and emerging groups aiming to establish a shed:
  • Providing a central contact point for all member sheds:
  • Maintaining a national register of sheds in New Zealand:
  • Providing benefits to member sheds, such as discounted group insurance rates:
  • Assisting member sheds to keep their members safe through quality health and safety information:
  • Developing strategic alliances with key organizations:
  • Supporting member sheds to be accessible to all men, regardless of ability, background, or culture:
  • Organising national conferences and facilitating regional and local networking opportunities:
  • Providing guidance regarding shed responsibilities, structure and operations:
  • Providing information and guidance to enable member sheds to establish opportunities for effective and continuous learning where appropriate for skill transference and tangible outcomes.

MENZSHED NZ will not have any direct control or responsibility for any individual shed.

(Extract from the constitution of MENZSHED New Zealand.)

3 MENZSHED® Trademark.

The word MENZSHED (and variations MenzShed or Menz Shed) is a Trademark owned by MENZSHED NEW ZEALAND Inc.  Please note:

  • Member sheds may use the MENZSHED logo provided that the shed is not indulging in activities or behaviour that brings or may bring the men’s shed movement into disrepute.
  • Sheds intending to seek membership of MENZSHED NZ or wishing to use the expression MENZSHED in their name must seek pre-approval – send us draft copies of Rules or Statement of Intent so the Executive can determine whether the intent of our Rule 4.3 is likely to be met. 

4 What is a Men’s Shed?

A shed brings men together in one community space to share their skills, have a laugh, and work on practical tasks individually (personal projects) or as a group (for the shed or community).

The sort of projects a shed tackles is entirely up to the shed concerned, however most sheds around New Zealand take on some community projects, examples of which include building playgrounds for pre-school centres, repairing toy library stock, repairing old bikes for distribution to poorer communities, building planter boxes for the main street of the local central business district, and the list goes on.

5 Why establish a Men’s Shed?

Men are known to have smaller circles of friends than women, so the shed offers opportunities to foster new friendships outside the social circles their partners establish.  


Men’s sheds are an ideal place for health professionals to gain access to men who may otherwise not take as much care of themselves as they could, and many sheds invite them to give informational talks and basic health checks at the shed in the men’s own environment where they feel the informality makes for a more relaxed atmosphere.

Couples may find that after retirement, the change of suddenly being with each other every waking (and sleeping) hour can cause friction, so the shed is a great place to escape the stresses of “underfoot syndrome”, and the result is that women are among the most ardent supporters of sheds.

6 A Mind Map of shed start up activities

Click on this Link.

7 How do sheds get started?

Who is interested?

How to get Publicity

  • Newspapers
  • Community weeklies
  • Community radio
  • Churches

Holding a meeting to gauge interest

  • Choose venue
  • Arrange publicity
  • Identify and invite key allies
  • Invite local journalist (or send an article for publication afterwards) 
  • Invite the MENZSHED NZ Regional Rep and a sheddie from a nearby shed
  • Organise chairman
  • Prepare programme, slideshows etc 
  • Gather names, phone numbers and email addresses of attendees
  • Have promotional material to take away

For further information listed below as headings only please contact the regional rep in your area, listed above, for access password.

Table of Password protected documents.

Click here to access full documents

8 Establishing the Shed Entity

8.1 Legislation Changes

8.2 Incorporated Society or Charitable Trust

8.3 Considerations for Rules

8.3.1 The purposes

8.3.2 Quorums

8.3.3 Management Committee

8.3.4 Elections

8.3.5 Liquidation

8.3.6 Year end financial

8.3.7 Cessation of Membership

8.3.8 Complaints

8.3.9 Forming the Committee (roles, responsibilities etc)

8.3.10 Constitution/Rules

8.3.11 Inaugural meeting


10 Charitable Status

11 Financial

11.1 Bank Accounts

11.2 Budgeting

11.3 Membership Fees

11.4 Accounting Packages

11.5 How to make an income for the shed (to pay rent, power etc.)

11.6 Getting funding

11.7 Raffles

11.8 Year End Activity – Review or Audit?

11.9 Charities Services Reporting

11.10 Getting sponsorship

11.11 Fraud and Scams

12 Committee Meetings

13 Records and Record Keeping

13.1 Privacy of Member Records

13.2 Sheddie Membership Application and Database

14 Tax

15 Google Apps

16 Email

17 Donations

18 Premises

18.1 General

18.2 Noise

19 Safety in the shed

19.1 Does the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) apply?

19.2 Our shed is not a PCBU – what are the obligations?

19.3 Our shed is a PCBU – what are the obligations?

19.4 Our shed hosts groups – what are our obligations?

19.5 Electrical Safety

19.6 Machine safety

19.7 Fire

19.8 Hazardous Substances

19.9 First Aid

19.10 Sheddie Induction

20 Insurance

20.1 Building

20.2 Contents

20.3 Public Liability

20.4 Statutory Liability

20.5 New Builds

20.6 Rothbury Brokers

21 Publicity

21.1 Websites

21.2 Social Media

21.3 Other Opportunities

21.4 Publicity Suggestions

21.5 Privacy Considerations

22 How to handle community projects

22.1 Schools:

23 Persons with Disabilities

24 Children

25 Condolence Messages

27 Men’s Health Resources

28 Smoking, Alcohol and Recreational Drugs

29 MENZSHED NZ Supporters

30 International

31 Appendix 1 Mind Map Data