What is the Repair Revolution?

We live in a society that revolves around consumption. Increasingly we buy more items and throw them away at the slightest sign of defect as people do not know how to repair things or where to find the people who do. Together, we can change that with the Wastebusters’ Repair Revolution!

Among other things, the Repair Revolution aims to:

  • Reduce waste by offering an alternative to our ‘throwaway culture’
  • Share repair knowledge and skills
  • Build community connections 

What is a Repair Event?

As part of the ‘Repair Revolution’, Wastebusters have organised a series of Repair Cafe-style events in Wanaka, Hawea, Alexandra, and in Queenstown with co-hosts Sustainable Queenstown. These are free, volunteer-based events where people get together to share their repair knowledge and experience. People who enjoy fixing things (Fixers) help people with broken things (Visitors). Visitors bring their broken items from home and are encouraged to learn and participate in the repair of their broken items.

Do I have to register to go to the Repair Event?

No, there is no need to register, but please note that due to the walk-in nature of the events, there may be a short wait before you can see a volunteer fixer.

How do I become a volunteer?

We’re looking for fixers and volunteers of all kinds.  Your repair skills in fixing household items such as computers, electronics, small appliances, small furniture, clothes, toys, jewellery, books, bikes and more, are all welcome. Fixers will only be asked to help with items that they feel comfortable repairing or will have time to do. We also welcome general volunteers.

Please complete the Volunteer Sign-up form and we’ll be in touch.

What can I bring to get repaired? 

As we get closer to each event and have gathered volunteers, we will specify what items would be appropriate to bring as it depends on the skills available. 

Generally, we welcome anything that’s broken, and which you can manage to carry on your own, for example clothing, small furniture, crockery, housewares, bicycles, toys and some electrical appliances. 

Electrical items

Only bring appliances that are low voltage. For example, if the item is powered by batteries or if it has a plug pack/adapter similar to picture: 

Repairers are unlikely to fix electrical faults for items that plug directly into the power point because those items carry 240 volts and the repairer would have to personally take liability for repairs, which is not acceptable unless they are a registered electrician. (We will let you know if any registered electricians sign up to volunteer!)

Note: To reduce wait times, a repair volunteer will likely work on only one item per visitor. They will have limited time slots so think about which items you’d like to bring!

For some repairs, new parts are needed. How is this managed?

Consumables such as glue, tape, and thread will be available and common parts such as switches, plugs, wires may also be available for general use.

If repairs cannot be carried out with what is available, the visitor will usually be given advice on where to buy the material in question and some guidance on how to fix things themselves. It might be possible to mend the item later on in the day or else at the next event.

Note: If you know your item requires a specific part then it is best to bring it along on the day.

What if my item does not get repaired? 

The work carried out at the Repair Events is performed by volunteers from the community. They can only take on jobs that they are comfortable with and fit their skills. There will also be limited time so please note that if a repair is too complicated it may not get done – but you will hopefully walk away with some instructions and guidance!  Repair volunteers will try their best but repairs are not guaranteed. They are not liable if objects brought to the event are not returned to full ‘working’ function.

Visitors are responsible for the removal of broken objects that could not be repaired. Wastebusters will offer guidance, where possible, to find a reuse or recycling solution over landfill.

Is it really free?

Advice and help from experts at the Repair Events is free of charge but a small donation/koha is appreciated!  We will use these donations to cover some of our consumable costs.

How else can I support the Repair Revolution?

  1. If you want to support the Repair Revolution there are other ways that you can help:
    Any donations of repair tools, supplies and parts such as glues, tapes, lubricants, switches, fuses, etc. are much appreciated. Old, functioning tools are great! You can drop them to Wastebusters at any time.
  2. If you have a repair business we’d love for you to come along and share your expertise at a repair event. If you cannot we would still like to share your business details on our website so that people know where to go to get their items fixed.
  3. Spread the word about all the benefits of repair.

Do Repair Events take business away from repair professionals?

The Repair Revolution aims to build a culture where repairing rather than throwing things away is the norm. At repair events we will advise people who need further help with their broken items to access the services of local repair professionals. If a volunteer has a repair-related business, they are welcome to provide business cards. There will also be a display area to post/provide information about their business and other repair services.


Any other questions?

Please contact: abbeyl@wastebusters.co.nz