the lyttelton container makerspace

Akaroa Mail Article – April 09 2020

“Making ideas and a space for them” article from Akaroa Mail publication on April 9 2020:

There’s a group of mostly – younger people in Lyttelton who are full of ideas, idealism and optimism.

They’ve plans for the development of a very special creative facility for the people of Lyttelton and surrounding areas.

A ‘crowd funding’ process is getting underway for their planned ‘makerspace’ which will be sited on land that the Port Company has offered at 7 Norwich Quay, next door to the old Telegraph Office building.

It is all being organised by a group of local residents, as the Te Puna Auaha Trust, as a ‘spring pool of creativity of innovation and ideas’.

“This will be a place that will empower people to do things themselves” says trustee Jacob Chick. The concept of such facilities isn’t new – there are, for example, Menz Sheds all over the place, and there have been community kitchens and shared workshops since the dawn of civilisation, but this one in Lyttelton is a little different.

“The space is going to be transformed into not just a standard mens’ shed” fellow trustee Paul Dietsche said.

“It has always been our intention that it be both for men and women, and of any age, plus children.

“It is about sustainability and changing culture towards more a co-operative and sustainable model.”

That pattern of inclusiveness was endorsed by Te Puna Auaha Trust Board Member Julia Fenn.

“We want to be as inclusive as possible – we’d like to hear from schools and companies that would like to use space.”

She said that there would be health benefits too, with people feeling included – the wellness that comes when people come together and share.

“We want to know what people want to see” she said.

Several containers have been donated to the project, along with a lot of tools and machinery, and a crowdfunding campaign through the ‘Boosted’ system is intended to raise $5,000 to establish the containers on site and a further $20-$30,000 to fit them out and landscape the site.

There are plans for a plastics recycling centre, a maker’s workshop and space for Lyttelton’s Library of Tools and Things.

The site is quite large, and there is space covered area between the containers which will provide for outdoor workshops and classes.

Pieces of the ‘puzzle’ which is to be assembled have been generously donated by Te Hapu o Ngati Wheke, Lyttelton Port Company, Linwood High School, Fulton Hogan and Orion Energy.

The organisers are pleased with the support they’ve received so far.

Apart from the containers and tools and so on, other businesses have donated facilities – like National Storage at Hillsborough which has been looking after items.

“It is amazing when we start to put the pieces together how people do want to take part” Paul said.

He said that all being well the fundraising would take just a couple of months, and that the site could be set up in the Spring.

One container is likely to be used for the Lyttelton Library of Tools and Things, which is currently operating out of the basement formerly used by the Lyttelton Garage Sale under the Council meeting room in Oxford Street, just up from Albion Square.

That is open from 5-7pm on Wednesdays and from 10am to 1pm on Saturdays, and is really quite busy, Paul said.

Popular items for loan include brush cutters, power washers and traps for possums and stoats.

It was set up with total funding of about $11,000.

The other container will house storage and a workshop, but there has to be care with the development of that because of health and safety issues.

“We’re hoping that ideally we can make things more sustainable for the community – and if we can achieve that we can copy that to other communities” Paul said.

The Boosted page for the Makerspace can be found at https://www.boosted.org.nz/projects/lyttelton-makerspace