We have the knack for doing it ourselves

TRACY NEAL
Last updated 12:00 18/01/2014

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Nelsonians come out tops in the country in the do-it-yourself skills league, with 67 per cent of respondents to a national survey reporting they have a knack for DIY projects.

The National DIY Report commissioned by global corporate 3M surveyed 1007 people in 16 regions around the country. It found that Nelsonians prefer on the whole not to leave the work to a handyman or friend, and they scored the highest among the regions surveyed with a third (33 per cent) admitting they turn to the internet for instructions before tackling DIY tasks.

Half the Nelson respondents believed picture hanging was a simple task and had no qualms about it, but a third (33 per cent) admitted they still had artwork lining the floors of their homes waiting to be hung.

The report also found that Kiwi women were becoming increasingly DIY savvy, with 48 per cent of women around the country saying they did most of the DIY projects in the home while 76 per cent of men put off relevant tasks for up to three months at a time.

Acting store manager for Bunnings Nelson, Nick Rose said the reason why DIY was so popular in Nelson could be in the number of retired builders, electricians and plumbers in this region, plus the number of artists and craftspeople here who were handy with a hammer or powertool.

"We find a lot of qualified tradespeople retire to Nelson for the lifestyle. We also have a close association with the Men's Shed which helps with our workshops," Mr Rose said.

The Men's Shed is an Australian concept which has taken off in New Zealand, as a place where blokes can go to potter away on projects and share stories and trade skills.

The Men's Shed in Richmond opened in 2011 and helps Bunnings with its DIY workshop presentations each weekend. They range in subject from how to assemble a garden shed to installing outdoor lighting, building a deck and how to control pests in your garden.

Mr Rose said workshops on how to build a deck were particularly popular. The store also runs DIY workshops for children, and ladies' nights were also well attended.

"Craft nights are also really popular. There are a lot of secondhand stores here where people buy furniture and want to know how to do it up," Mr Rose said.

Mitre 10 Mega marketing co-ordinator Murray Leaning reckoned Nelson's DIY interest lay in the lifestyle here and great climate.

"People here are frenetic gardeners. We sell a lot of landscaping and garden materials," Mr Leaning said.

He said people accessing online instructions had also contributed to increased activity around home renovations and decorating. Mitre 10's EasyAs portal on its website received one million hits last year.

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"New Zealanders are also such huge watchers of DIY programmes." Mr Leaning said the store's annual ladies night each October was hugely popular and 260 women attended the event last October.

He believed women-only workshops had helped encourage them to tackle more DIY projects around home.

"A large percentage of our customers are ladies and there's nothing they won't try. We have them placing orders for cement and timber."

The 3M national survey also found that 24 per cent of Kiwi women were more passionate about decorating and DIY than men. An increasing number of women were turning to Google rather than requesting assistance from the men in their life.

- The Nelson Mail

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