So what is a Repair Café?

A Repair Café is a pop up event where people bring their broken and damaged belongings and local experts will sit down with them and do their best to repair them.

It’s all about bringing people together, connecting local people in their communities with others who are happy to share their skills and knowledge, saving people money and reducing the amount of material that ends up in our landfills. It is an international movement of repair cafes which began in the Netherlands in 2009 and spread throughout Auckland from 2016. After a big burst of energy and funding, what with covid and one thing and another very few were held in 2020. Our organisation, Doughnut Economics Advocates New Zealand (DEANZ) was very keen to help get them up and running again.

I became a convert because of my personal experience. I had a beautiful, shiny electric toaster which worked perfectly except the sliding rack wouldn’t stay down. Like most people I didn’t want to spend the $30 to $50 to take it to an electrician when I could buy a new toaster for that amount but it seemed a crime to throw it away. On the other hand I didn’t want to hold it down for a minute or two while the bread toasted either! So I took it to a Repair Café 3 years ago. The volunteer, qualified electrician opened the toaster up, saw that a breadcrumb (!) was stopping the electro-magnetic mechanism from working, literally blew it out, closed the toaster up and it has been working perfectly ever since!

In the past, quite a lot Repair Cafes have been held on the North Shore but DEANZ was keen for one to be held close to Central Auckland to meet the needs of people living in and around the CBD who perhaps don’t have cars and can’t easily get things fixed. Items that are repaired are usually small electrical appliances like electric kettles and lamps; or faulty hardware or annoying problems with software on computers; small furniture like chairs and coffee tables; simple servicing of bicycles; clothing that needs to be hemmed or patched or let in or out; toys glued or stitched… you name it.

So this is where and when it will be held:
Une-Deux Café at 545 Karangahape Road, just around the corner from Ponsonby Road on 13 March from 11am to 2pm.

So who are DEANZ and why do we care? We are involved with a movement called Doughnut Economics which was started by the Oxford University economist Kate Raworth. The aim is for the planet to live within acceptable environmental boundaries while meeting essential social needs. The sweet spot is in the shape of a doughnut. The idea is if you stretch the planet’s resources too far, you fall off the outside edge of the doughnut. And if you fail to meet basic social needs (like food, water, health education, housing and justice) you fall into the hole in the middle of the doughnut.

Doughnut Economics Advocates New Zealand (DEANZ) was established here in New Zealand, to encourage attitude and behavioural change from a growth-led to a sustainability-led economy, taking the 9 dimensions of the ecological ceiling and the 12 dimensions of the social foundation into account. You can see more on our website: We encourage and promote activities such as Repair Cafes and composting which fit into the philosophy of Doughnut Economics. See the About Us tab for a list of our current projects. DEANZ also holds regular Meetups with interesting speakers on relevant topics which you can see here:

We are in fact holding a meetup on Repair Cafes on 23 February at 6.15pm. If you happened to be interested, you would be most welcome to come along.

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