Founding Mission

BenchSpace is an inclusive and creative community dedicated to sharing the joy of working with your hands.  BenchSpace seeks premises, equipment, funding and other resources to build a safe and supportive maker space. 

Vision | Current Vision:

The BenchSpace community workshop will be a welcoming and well-equipped space where members learn, share their skills and knowledge, and enjoy the enriching benefits of craft practice. BenchSpace will provide space and equipment for people at all levels to practise their craft, learn from those with more experience, or share their expertise with others.

We promote connection, collaboration and mentoring relationships between aspiring and established craftspeople of all ages, backgrounds, cultures and abilities. We foster resourcefulness, inclusion and wellbeing in our community. 

We value and promote socially and environmentally sustainable craft principles and practices. BenchSpace seeks to transform Wellington’s timber waste streams by facilitating the use of recycled native timber and felled trees diverted from landfill. 

BenchSpace talking points

  • We are a group of people who feel drawn to establish a shared workshop space in Wellington.
  • We want to provide a well equipped work space for people who for various reasons do not have access to such a space.
  • We want to connect skilled craftspeople who are keen to share their expertise with people who would like to learn a craft. We want to provide a space for teaching of courses aimed at all levels of ability.
  • We are a new creative initiative in Wellington, dedicated to sharing the joy of working with your hands.  Our initial focus is woodwork but we anticipate including other craft areas such as metal working, and carving.
  • We plan to establish a space which can be used by individuals and groups, providing access to a workshop, tools, workbenches, and expert advice, in a safe work environment.
  •  We plan to gather materials that would normally end up in landfills, and provide the materials, tools, and expert advice to enable would-be craftspeople to create beautiful hand crafted objects.
  • When asked about BenchSpace vs Menzshed:  We have talked to the folks in Wellington and looked at their space, but the Menzshed space in Wellington is rather limited for the types of things we have in mind. Also, BenchSpace has a different focus.  A Menzshed “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)” (from the Menzshed website) whereas BenchSpace is (see talking points above).


Welcome to BenchSpace

In this newsletter we update you on progress with our community workshop.  Over the last few months, we have secured a workshop premises, formed a charitable trust and made excellent progress in planning for the next year.  We could not have done it without our network of advisors, support from the Wellington City Council, and a huge volunteer effort. 

The new BenchSpace!

We are fitting out a workshop space in the Central Park Apartments complex at the foot of Brooklyn Road.  Special thanks to Jamie Shackleton and the team at Wellington City Council for helping us into these premises.  We have about 125m2, a good amount of space for benches and key machinery. 

We expect to open initially for specific courses, with longer hours and access for members to follow. 

The BenchSpace Charitable Trust

Our Trust was formed in May 2022, with an application pending for registration as a charity. We have eight Trustees for an initial three year term.  


We will soon begin teaching at BenchSpace

Volunteer with us

We are looking for assistance with business planning, financial and accounting advice.  Please reply with any suggestions. 

There’ll be plenty of opportunities to volunteer around the workshop once we get going. 

We are always keen to talk to prospective tutors – if you’re a skilled woodworker and would like to teach at BenchSpace, please get in touch. 


We are now able to accept donations!  As we get established, any donations of money, tools and materials will make a big difference.  If you have any tools or materials that may be available to us, please send details by email.

Monetary donations may be made to the New Crossways Community Trust, which is helping to manage these things for us until we are more established:

New Crossways Community Trust 


Ref: BenchSpace