14 February 2023
Tauranga joins the global movement with its own Repair Café with a volunteer driven initiative as part of Tinkd Makerspace. Repair Cafés are part of the grassroots movement that aims to reduce waste and overconsumption. It aims to encourage and foster the "do it yourself" spirit and strengthen social connections by bringing different members of the community together.
What is a Repair Café and why are they an important community asset? A Repair Café is a pop-up event where members of the public can bring items to be repaired - for free - instead of throwing them away. Tauranga’s Repair Café is run by a group of passionate volunteers who have expertise and repair skills they want to share. Depending on the availability of the volunteers at each Tauranga event, repairs can be made to household items such as bikes, clothing, toys, furniture, jewellery, small electrical appliances, computing devices and more.
Steven Vincent, founder of Tinkd Makerspace says “The purpose of these events is two-fold: to try to change our “throwaway culture” and to bring people in the community together. An added bonus is that it saves people money. If their item can be repaired they don’t need to replace it, pay for more expensive repairs elsewhere, or send it to the landfill. If the item can’t be repaired, then at least we’ve tried!
He continues “When we were presented with an opportunity to host and support a Repair Café in Tauranga, we jumped at the chance to get involved. Our Makerspace is all about collaboration and sharing knowledge and skills, so it just made sense to facilitate this great initiative.”
Volunteer Jennie Halliday wanted to get involved with setting up the Tauranga Repair Café because “I grew up with “fixers” but most people don’t have access to repairers now. Finding out about Repair Cafés solved this – bringing together the know-how and the things otherwise destined for landfill. There’s such a lot of goodwill and even excitement on the day when things get fixed, as they mostly do. And it’s really social and enjoyable.
The first Tauranga Repair Café was hosted in September 2022 and since then 44 items that have been brought in for assessment ranging from toasters; kitchen scales; garage door remote, blenders; dinosaur and robot toys, jewellery; clothing; office chair and more. Most items have been successfully repaired or fixed much to the delight of the person who brought them in and the repairer.
The next pop-ups events are planned for Saturday February 25th, March 25th, April 29th, May 27th at 09:30 am in Tauranga CBD. The organisers are looking for more volunteer repairers with different skill sets to add to the events. It’s free to attend with an item but pre-booking an item is preferred as it allows the organisers to prepare for any repairs.
For more information and tickets to the next Repair Café event, visit the website: www.tinkd.nz.