Co-presidents: Rosemary Penwarden and James Sutherland

Secretaries: Ryan Mckenzie (membership) and Nathan Laurie (minutes)

Co-treasurers: Christine Keller and Greg Taigel

Peter McDonald leads the Community Bike Workshop. Peter has had a longtime involvement in cycling as an advocate, as well as a cyclist. He is also active in Transition Valley 473 and various other community projects. 

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Peter admiring an old delivery bike

Nathan Parker, educator/activist and co-owner of Dunedin Electric Bikes, an independent ebike shop based at the workspace. He specialises in offering a wide range of ebikes proven to meet the requirements of commuters and recreational cyclists in Dunedin. His ebikes cater to the needs of the quick commuter or family transporter, to the senior cyclist or the more robust rider – he even has trikes; and they can be trialled from the quiet no exit Allen street. Individualised ebike lessons and tours can also be arranged and hire of ebikes from Gallery on Blueskin and Green Acorn Cafe. A selection of ebikes are on display at VCW. He is often at the workspace, available for a cuppa tea and advice but regular hours of operation are Mon – Fri 9-4 and Sat 9-2pm


Steve on one of his recubumbent bikes.

Steve Ward on one of his recumbent bikes.

Steve Ward, aka Captain Bikeheart, electric and recumbent bicycle enthusiast. Steve also operates a welding workshop (previously known as the Valley Anvil)  and since March 2016 has carried out a number of electric bike conversions and repairs. He has also provided basic light engineering support for others working in the Valley Community Workspace. One-off unusual projects have also been completed, such as building a trike-balancebike for a special needs child, and a blender bike for WellSouth. It has been a time of developing skills and ideaswhich can be used for more varied work in the future.

Steve has a varied background including designing and building a house with a stand-alone power system, setting up and operating remote power systems for the Department of Conservation, as a teacher for Red Cross, ambulance officer team leader for Alpine Search and Rescue working across the South Westland and Mt Cook areas. He is also a qualified automotive engineer, and has been involved in both light engineering and building design and construction. Steve lives in North East Valley with his partner, Kaitrin Mc Mullan, and her extended family.

ApfelpresseChristine Keller is a local weaver and valley resident. Christine has taught weaving for many years and was delighted to move her studio the LoomRoom into the VCW at the end of April 2018.

Christine is also interested in innovative low-cost ways to build and insulate her classroom, as can be seen at her workshop in the VCW.


Paul Campbell and Ian Rees are core members of Dunedin’s Makerspace. Paul owns Moonbase Otago, an embedded software and hardware design consulting company which works worldwide. Paul has worked in the IT industry for 30 years programming, designing hardware and building chips.

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Paul and 3D printer

Control Focus specialises in industrial automation and electrical systems, and is owned by James Hardisty. James and colleagues are avid, experienced solar and EV-converters. They have developed a community sheet metal workshop at the VCW with a permanent work bench, trolley table, spot welding machine and  bending machine. These will be available for community hire, when they are not being used by Control Focus for building battery boxes for electric vehicles and solar photo-voltaic installations.

Rosemary Penwarden is from Oil Free Otago. She ‘founded’ the Allen St garage and started talking to people about her idea – a place to convert cars to electric, fix bikes, and basically just get going with building our own fossil free future. She loves the smell of the place – it takes her back to her Dad’s implement shed.

Other VCW supporters:

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Kaitrin and Friends

Kaitrin McMullan is a storyteller/ educator with a background of performance and doing the odd artist-in-school stint using recycled materials and a dollop of creativity.  See her website for more info. One of Kaitrin’s ideas for the VCW in the future is an Arts Resource Centre Otepoti (ARCO), a recycling venture where waste materials (domestic and industrial) will be housed in the one space for transforming into amazing art projects. If you would like to be involved in this project, please contact Kaitrin.

4901406_origRoss Gilbertson is a regular volunteer at the DIY bike workshop. Ross is also a member of Transsition Valley 473’s community orchard, and has double glazed his house with inexpensive acrylic sheets.

Ian Rees is a member of Makerspace and helps look after the VCW website.

Kristen Bracey (VCW committee member 2015-mid 2019) loves being part of a number of groups with a sustainability and community focus Transition Valley 473, NEV Community Garden, and Quarantine Island/ Kamau Taurua Community

Tom McKinlay is passionate about low carbon transport. While he rides his bicycle to work, when he needs to go by car, he uses the family EV. Tom has helped promote the uptake of e-cars by being a ‘chauffeur’ at community events to give the public, including local government members, a chance to ride in one and ask questions. Tom is a great networker and conduit for EV information. He has presented at Otago Polytechnic’s Staff Development Day on EVs (Oct. 2016), and recently, has been the driving force behind pulling together partners and an application to the Government’s Low Emissions Vehicle Fund.