Richard Lloyd is a man of many talents;.  As well as a long career in science and technology, he is a musician and keen woodworker and restorer. He has a passion for fixing things and empowering others to do the same, which has led him to play an instrumental role in helping launch and oversee Palmerston North Repair Café.

Repair Cafes are an international movement. They are free pop-up events where local people bring in their broken and damaged belongings and local volunteer experts do their best to repair them. Palmerston North Repair Café launched in September 2022 with the support of Environment Network Manawatū, PNCC, MENZSHED, SuperGrans Manawatū and other community organisations. The café works in cooperation with local businesses with the overall goal of improving accessibility to and understanding of repair, repurpose and recycling opportunities within the city as a means of reducing waste and engendering local resilience, connection, and cohesion.

Being involved al in the Palmerston North Repair Café was a no brainer for Richard who notes that

‘as a 10-year-old, living in the UK, I used to fix (more often than not) the neighbourhood kids toys – especially electric powered toy cars and the like.  So, fixing must be in the blood! I have always been appalled by the way we casually discard things that can be repaired and how many things are made to break and be discarded. I like the philosophy of buying once and buying quality and keeping it going for many years.  When I heard about the Repair Café as an international and New Zealand movement and visited the Repair Café in Levin, I figured we should try to set something up here’.

Richard is one of the Repair Café’s organising committee and an on the day repairer at the monthly events, where ‘…bringing something back that has memories attached or some sentimental value is a buzz’ Richard also acknowledges the important environmental impact of the Repair Café  ‘it’s beating the throw away system and keeping materials out of landfill’ and as part of the process hopes that menders like himself ‘can also pass on some knowledge that we have collectively accumulated with the aim of others catching the repair bug’

Palmerston North Repair Café takes place the last Saturday of the month from 10-1 at Te Manawa Museum. Feilding is also starting its own Repair Café starting 11th of March. To get involved (new volunteers are always appreciated) or to find out more, follow us on Facebook.