Singing is done with both the body and the mind
A-Z of Courses

This is the complete list of courses currently available for you to select.  They are in alphabetical order. 

Courses generally start in February so make your selection from December to mid January. 

In the second half year, new courses are announced in June so make your selection in June.

At other times of the year you should contact the course coordinators (as some groups are limited in their numbers). IF YOU JUST WANT TO SEE WHAT COURSES ARE ON IN THE  REST OF THIS MONTH AND NEXT MONTH THEN CHOOSE "COURSES THIS MONTH." THAT IS THE LAST HEADING IN THIS COURSES FIELD.

An Introduction to Western Philosophy [WP]

We are never too old to learn. Aristotle maintains that philosophy is best taken up at fifty years or on, so we are well placed at U3A. We are given comprehensive notes, introduced to philosophy websites, read a few philosophy texts (not difficult) and have eight sessions at which we discuss such topics as: theories of knowledge, the question of identity (who am I), the philosophy of religion, ethics, the meaning of life; all at a laypersons level.

Co-ordinator: Don Hunter, [email protected] (232 9633)
Fridays fortnightly at 2pm. Cancelled at present
Venue: The former Roundabout now called Sprig and Fern

Ancestry Search [AS]

This course is for anyone searching for information about their family history or needing help recording, for our children and grandchildren, the stories of our and our parents' lives. The group meets once a month, shares its latest discoveries and discusses how best to remove the stumbling blocks that always come with exploring one's ancestry. Group members may share a particular expertise in the form of a presentation and we have had outside speakers come in to assist. AS a group we have visited places like the National Library. We welcome both newcomers and seasoned experts. Come and be inspired. Morning tea is available at low cost.

Co-ordinator: Doug Miller, [email protected] (232 7724 or 020 464 5537)
3rd Fridays at 9.30 am
Venue: Tawa Union Church Resuming 19 June

Art Group [AG]

Artists with any skills to share are invited to come to these weekly 2 hour sessions to help build an art community. We also want to encourage everyone who may have doubted their hidden ability to sketch or paint to come along and give this a go. We have a wide range of equipment; just bring paper. You may prefer to work on your own art project, and that would be inspiring to the rest of us.

Leader: Maureen Johnston, [email protected] (232 4555)
Co-ordinator: Alison Bayly, [email protected] (027 437 9215)
Every Thursday 10:0am till noon
Venue: Tawa Community Centre

Arthritis Discussion Group [AD]

A group meeting to exchange experience in: managing pain, treatments, operations, activities, support.

Wednesday 4th November, 1.30 pm

Leader: Marina Fabris, [email protected] (232 7007)
Co-ordinator: Don Hunter, [email protected] (232 9633)
4th November 2020
Venue: Linden Hall TBC

Aspects of Literature [AL]

Mary-Lynn will present two more literary presentations:

Her presentations are semi-dramatised readings and well worth spending an hour.

The Doll's House revisited Wed Oct 14th @ 1.30

Poetry Remembered. Have you a favourite poem to bring and share? Wed Nov 11th @ 1.30

Venue: Tawa Lbrary

Books1 [BK1]

The class is best described as a small and informal group of those who wish to broaden their reading of book style and content from any source.

It used to be the case with readers in the England of the 18th century onwards that one should talk about a book and analyse it with others for at least twice as long as it took to read. An important part of that process is listening carefully to what others say in discussion. The books in play can be from the local library or ones owned by class members happy to share them. The group is currently four. Some minor expansion could prove timely but not so as to impinge on the ability of the participants to express and exchange views and ideas.

Members talk about the books they've been reading. No set book. Books are frequently shared. The discussion about a book often triggers wider discussion on topical issues.

Leader: Faith Delaney (232 6730)
2nd Mondays, 10 am, Resumes June 8th
Venue: Member's home

Books2 [BK2]

This course is now FULL.

Leader: Diane Scott (232 6958)
4th Monday at 10 am Resumes 22nd June
Venue: Member's home

Botany [BY]

The aim is to enable group members to study and learn about the many types of New Zealand flora, especially trees. The Botany group encompasses people with a wide variety of botanical skills and a wish to identify new specimens while exploring rich native ecosystems including native bush. These extend to swamp areas and coastal zones like estuaries. The Wellington area provides excellent opportunities for botany study both in the field and in imaginative indoor study facilities such as Te Papa. Every effort is made to balance out the more demanding outdoor venues with easier to visit ones.

June walk is Willowbank Reserve

Leader: Margaret Herbert (232 6828)
Co-ordinator: Helen Roper, [email protected] (897 0155)
Second Mondays, 9:30am departure.
Venue: Davies Street/Luckie Street car-park

Building with Meccano [BM]

There was a time when Meccano was every boy’s dream and frequent header of the Christmas list when Santa was headed to town. Truth is that Meccano, from its arrival in 1901 under the iconic Frank Hornby, was a superbly engineered product that stimulated many a young fellow to go into civil engineering/architecture. Meccano parts may have altered just a little over the years but the ability to use them to build innovative structures or machines is undimmed. Ownership has moved to France and maufacture to China but they still turn out pieces engineered to those good old imperial measures. Meccano is an extremely popular (though recent) U3A group and it is not restricted just to the guys. Ladies are in there building their dreams too.

Leader: Max George, [email protected] (232 4200)
Co-ordinator: Gillian George, [email protected] (232 4200)
Second and fourth Mondays, 9:30am - 11:30am Will resume soon
Venue: Member's home

Classic UK Television [CT]

Free to air television is now seen as a fading technology. But in the 1960s. 70s and 80s the UK produced some very fineTV work that people still hark back to. Was it that good? Does it still hold up in our modern day critical eyes. We will look at comedies, dramas and documentaries that were hugely admired 50 years ago.These include Steptoe & Son, Colditz, World in Action, the Likely Lads, Yes Minister, Monty Python, Poldark, Callan, I Claudius and dozens more.

Leader: Dave Smith, [email protected] (232 5084 or 021 991 404)
Tuesdays fortnightly. resuming on 23rd June
Venue: Member's home

Computing Chatter [CC]

Answering and discussing any computer or Smart Technology questions, trivial or complex. Keeping pace with computer related developments.

Co-ordinator: John Baldwin, [email protected] (027 349 7777 or 237 6501)
4th Thursday, 10am.
Venue: Tawa Community Centre

Considering Ethical and Social Situations [ES]

Tuesday 27th October: Talk by author and journalist Ian Harris

Details of the talk:

Advances in almost every field of human endeavour are beginning to have unintended consequences for the planet. Currently, climate warnings stir fears for the future. Ian will sketch four views of how humans relate to the natural world and, as a secular Christian, he proposes a paradigm shift that draws on ancient wisdom and religion to cast a radically new light on our relationship with the earth.

tea/coffee from 10am, talk at 10.30am

Co-ordinator: Karen Harris, [email protected] (232 3436 or 027 230 7060 )
Venue: Tawa Union Church

Current Affairs [CA]

This is one of the bigger U3A Tawa groups. It meets monthly to examine and reflect on political events and social trends in New Zealand and around the world. Media coverage of news is becoming increasingly partisan and misleading. The group takes the opportunity to share their own perceptions of current events. The leader promotes discussion on topics chosen by the group at the start of the session. It usual to examine about eight subjects in the one to one and-a-half hour session. Everyone who wishes to speak on a topic is always accorded that opportunity. Coffee and tea are served both before and after the session.

Leader: Dave Smith, [email protected] (232 5084 or 021 991 404)
Co-ordinator: Helen Roper, [email protected] (897 0155)
First Wednesday, 10am Starts 5th February
Venue: Doris Mills Lounge

Current Health Issues [HI]

Topical health issues, followed by your questions.

Leader: Dr. Kathy Stone.
Co-ordinator: Robin Thomson, [email protected] (232 5270 )
Two talks, Thursdays 9:30am 20th Aug and another TBA
Venue: Tawa Union Church

Discussion Group [DG]

This is a U3A group of longstanding. The members partake of a simple morning tea then discuss matters of mutual interest. The leader makes up a list of possible topics and these are often added to as the discussion progresses. Some emphasis is placed on highlighting good news stories so that the groups acts both as a debate and as a sharing of national and local items of interest.

Leader: Digby Gudsell, [email protected] (2326110)
Second Wednesday, 10am Resumes 10th June
Venue: Member's home

Drop-In Philosophy [DP]

Drop In is for members who like to meet for a couple of hours and talk and listen about big ideas. The meetings are modelled on the overseas Socrates Cafes. Topics are usually chosen, and discussed at the following fortnightly session. Discussion is at a laypersons level, and the emphasis is on questions not on answers. Drop In is at the Sprig and Fern the second and fourth Sundays of each month and is open to everyone.

Leader: Don Hunter, [email protected] (232 9633)
2:30 pm Sundays. Restarts 11th October
Venue: The former Roundabout now called Sprig and Fern

Facing a World on the Brink [WB]

Ian, a journalist, has been writing the Faith and Reason column in the Otago Daily Times for more than 15 years.

Spectacular advances in almost every field of human endeavour are beginning to have unintended consequences for the planet on which all life depends. Currently, climate warnings stir fears for the future, and the young rebel.

[Course was earlier entitled A World on the Brink - and God?]

Against that background, Ian will sketch four views of how humans relate to the natural world and, as a secular Christian, propose a paradigm shift that draws on ancient wisdom and religion to cast a radically new light on our relationship with the earth.

Leader: Ian Harris
Co-ordinator: Karen Harris, [email protected]
Refer to Considering Ethical...
Venue: Tawa Union Church

Films [FW]


Between them these filmmakers have some wonderfully anarchic comedy movies to their names. They have also turned out some very innovative serious dramas that have garnered a total of eight Oscars with 38 nominations. The variety and power of these creative visual artists is worth celebrating. Films include: Manhattan, Annie Hall, Interiors, Midnight in Paris, Fargo, Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, No Country for Old Men, A Serious Man and Bananas.

Leader: Dave Smith, [email protected] (232 5084 or 021 991 404)
Tuesday fortnightly, 2 pm. Resumes on 16th June
Venue: Member's home

Garden Group [GG]

Naturally Garden Club members have an interest in gardens. Some are active and keen gardeners. Some were active and keen gardeners but are now unable to look after a garden but still retain a love of gardens. The programme planned for the club each year tries to include something for everybody. In the Summer we visit gardens or nurseries. In the colder months we meet in the Emmaus Centre and have a speaker.

Leader: Shirley Williamson, [email protected] (232 6746 )
Co-ordinator: Sally Horan, [email protected] (232 6006 )
First Fridays at 9.30 am. Due to resume in September

Indoor Games [IG]

A variety of board games and card games are played by members.

Note the new timetable from April...

Leader: David Parsons (236 6200 or 027 427 2094)
1st and 3rd Wednesdays at 1.30 pm ( also 5th Wednesday in Sept) cancelled
Venue: Tawa Union Church

Investments [IN]

We once lived in a world where interest on money investments routinely yielded safe(ish) rates of around 7%. We now see some countries with nil interest rates while NZ itself is close to that. Why is this and what investment opportunites still exist for modestly resourced seniors living in NZ?

Leader: Scott Fowler; Glen Wilson (Jardens)
Co-ordinator: Dave Smith, [email protected] (232 5084 or 021 991 404)
Tuesday 10th Novemberat 10am
Venue: TUC

IPads and Phones [AM]

Getting the most out of your iphones, ipads, MacBooks.

Two sessions

Leader: John Baldwin, [email protected].com (237 6501 or 027 349 7777)
Fourth Fridays at 10 am Resumes 5th June
Venue: Tawa Community Centre (Old Police Office)

Keep-fit Classes [KF]

Tutor Mark Anderson gives specific advice as required and leads members in exercises to improve cardio, strength and flexibility. Mark ensures the exercises are safe and tailored to your specific needs. Only U3A members are present during the agreed times (Mondays and Fridays 1-2pm, Thursdays 2-3pm) so most attendees know each other well. A warm and supportive atmosphere is maintained at all times.

$7 per half hour

Times available: Mondays 1-1.30pm; Thursdays 2-2.30pm; Fridays 1-1.30pm.

Leader: Mark Anderson (027 458 8674)
Co-ordinator: Brian Wilson, [email protected] (234 7085)
Venue: Revolve Fitness, Tawa Mall


Like “Music and Lunch” but with popular music and afternoon tea. Take turns in hosting and choosing CDs to play. Just tea and bikkies or as “high tea” as you like!

Leader: Marina Fabris, [email protected] (2327007)
2nd Tuesdays @ 10.30 am
Venue: Member's home

Music and Lunch [ML]

A sociable group that gathers round a light lunch of soup sandwiches (plus whatever else people may bring on the day) in the home of a next-on-the-list member. The host of the day chooses the music so that over time all music tastes take a turn. Round the dining table socialising between 10.30 am and 1 pm(ish). Music and chat are the common interests. In practice, numbers have to be limited to around eight.

Leader: George Luck, [email protected] (232 1546)
Co-ordinator: George Luck, [email protected] (232 1546)
1st Monday, 10:30am - 1:30pm. Not resumed yet
Venue: Member's homes


Members perform short items to each other. You don't have to be a virtuoso – just interested in giving yourself a reason to practice something ready to perform for others to enjoy.

There is a wide range of abilities and everyone is very supportive of the other performers. Room for more if you'd like to join us.

Coordinator: Jancis Potter 232 3915 text: 0276354733

Co-ordinator: Jancis Potter, [email protected] (232 3915 or 027 635 4733)
First Thursdays at 2.00pm. Resumes 4th June
Venue: Member's home

My Future Health Care [FH]

We need to plan for our Future Health Care in case we are in a situation where we cannot speak for ourselves. That could be because of an Accident, severe Stroke, Heart failure or Dementia. If we talk things over and make plans now, after discussions with our family and Doctor then write that down, people know what you want. A Future Health Plan is not binding like a will. It's a guide.

Two events planned, one in May, other in September.

Leader: Maxine Paterson
Co-ordinator: John Baldwin, [email protected] (237 6501 or 027 349 7777)
Friday 18th September 10 am, Thursday 15th October 2 pm
Venue: Tawa Community Centre (Old Police Office)

New Books in the Library [NB]

U3A Tawa enjoys enormous cooperation from the Tawa Library staff. This course involves U3A receiving long term loans (six weeks) of books that are new to this local branch library. Members then read and discuss the books. If a member of the group is impressed with the reports from the others they will usually be allowed to have that book next, provided there is no formal reserve on it in the general library system. Members of the group are encouraged to write reviews of their books and these reviews are featured on the library’s “New Books” shelves. Everyone is encouraged to widen their reading range by reading outside their personal comfort zones if at all possible. Morning tea and coffee are provided by the library.

Co-ordinator: Dave Smith, [email protected] (232 5084 or 021 991 404)
2nd Thursdays, 10 am, continues on ZOOM
Venue: Tawa Library

Opera [OP]

DVDs of interesting productions of great operas, with background and guided discussion. Two hours or more each session.

Leader: Lindis Taylor, [email protected] (232 6521)
Co-ordinator: Jeanette Taylor 232 6521
Three Thursdays, August 6th, 13th, 20th at 1:30 pm
Venue: Emmaus Centre

Outdoor Games [OG]

Sessions usually held between 10 – 12noon on Fridays, but not at present.

At present the two games are petanque and croquet and the venue is the very pleasant Aotea Park by the Aotea lagoon. Leader Jean Leitch can be relied on to whistle up hot coffee and biscuits at halftime. These games are somewhat weather-dependent and some days rain does stop or prevent play but the hardy souls of the U3A outdoor games turn out whenever they can! Equipment is mostly provided.

Leader: Jean Leitch (477 1718)
Co-ordinator: Eileen Preval, [email protected] (232 4272)
Venue: Aotea Lagoon


Jancis and Helen will present a recital of mainly piano music. Solos, duets and works for 2 pianos. Perhaps Cello solos.

Refreshments will be served during the interval.

Leader: Jancis Potter, [email protected]
Co-ordinator: Jancis Potter, [email protected] (232 3915 or 027 635 4733)
Tuesday 15 September at 10.00 - 12noon.
Venue: Member's home

Quiz [QZ]

Quiz time will be a ten-round quiz session with diverse questions to the intellectual level of “The Chase” in oral, visual and aural formats. Tables of four. Prizes will be in the form of donated items such as baking or non-alcoholic pourable substances.

3 sessions per semester.

Leader: Dave Smith, [email protected] (232 5084 or 021 991 404)
Wednesdays: Resume July15th
Venue: Tawa Union Church

Ramblers [RB]

Not to be confused with a much more demanding tramping group! Ramblers are aimed at the more typical U3A member who would generally prefer walking on the flat and not going so far from base as to invite fatigue. Wellington serves up countless opportunities for gentle walking around the city, well-trodden urban tracks and coastal areas. Usually a Gold Card will take the group where it wants to go while lunch and a coffee are always had. Great stuff when the good weather arrives with numbers fluctuating between ten and double that.

Co-ordinator: Shirley Williamson, [email protected] (232 6746)
Thursdays weekly, 10 am Resumes in July
Venue: Davies Street/Luckie Street car-park

Reading Shakespeare [RS]

Carolyn will present another series reading one or more of the Bard's works.

Probably “Twelfth Night”.

Leader: Carolyn Marshall
Co-ordinator: Jancis Potter, [email protected] (04 232 3915; 027 635 4733)
Thursday weekly Starting 27th August, 10 am
Venue: TUC

Scrap-Booking [SB]

Join our friendly group to learn techniques to display your photos in an interesting and lasting way. Numbers limited.

Leader: Margaret Williams, [email protected] (232 3312)
Co-ordinator: Anne Raven, [email protected] (232 5660)
Fridays, weekly. 9:30am Resumes 5th June
Venue: Tawa Commuity Centre


Bring along your current projects for guidance. Or just bring your machine and sew in companionship.

Leader: Pat Hammond
Not running at present

Table Tennis [TT]

Join the group of enthusiastic players on a Thursday morning for your exercise for the day.

Leader: Virginia Ng [email protected] (232 9971)
Thursdays weekly at 9.30 am. Resumes in July
Venue: Tawa Community Centre Hall

Te Reo [TR]

No further information as yet

Co-ordinator: Dave Smith, [email protected]

TED Talks [TD]


Many of you will have come across these before – there are thousands on-line. They are talks by a wide variety of people given in front of an audience, generally about 15 - 20 minutes long. In this group we will meet at a member’s house, where we watch and discuss 2 or 3 talks per session. Each member of the group can take a turn to choose the talks so we get exposed to a wide variety of topics.

Co-ordinator: John Baldwin (04 237 6501; 027 349 7777; [email protected])
First Tuesdays at 10 am. Resumed.

Theatre Visits [TV]

We have seen some brilliant productions over the last few years so I invite anyone to join this group.

Each month I will list on the website, 2 or 3 plays for the following month. You will also be notified by email. Payment is made into U3A theatre account which is transferred to the appropriate place. Plays and musicals will be chosen from Circa, Mana Little Theatre, Gryphon, Khandallah Arts, Kapiti Playhouse and Hutt Repertory.

13 September Deathe and Taxes at Mana Little theatre

Leader: Alison Bayly (027 437 9215)
Co-ordinator: Alison Bayly, [email protected] (027 437 9215)
Pantomime in November at Circa


Illustrated talks on travel adventures. Monthly

Friday July 10 Karen & Ian Harris – (From San Diego to Fort Lauderdale, through the Panama Canal)

Friday August 14 Ron Doggett – Places off the Tourist Trail

Friday Sept 11 Carole Naylor – Graceland and Singapore in the 90s

Friday Oct 9 Angela and John Baldwin - Doing their bit for NZ Tourism, post Covid

Friday Nov 13 To be announced.

Co-ordinator: Carole Naylor, [email protected] (233 8033 or 021 9086 16626)
Second Fridays 10am. Resumes 10th July
Venue: Emmaus Centre

U3A Singers [SS]

Over 50 voices sing a wide variety of music. Some popular songs arranged for mixed choir; some serious choral works like Opera Choruses. Folk Songs, Songs from Musicals and Films. Some are challenging others really simple. There's always going to be a good selection that you will enjoy.

Leader: Jancis Potter, [email protected] (232 3915 or 027 635 4733)
Co-ordinator: Eileen Preval, [email protected] (232 4200 or 021 231 4240)
Mondays, 1:15pm Resumes when venue available.
Venue: Stephen's Lounge, Tawa Union Church

Ukulele [UK]

More songs with another chord to add to your repertoire. This is an immensely popular group who find it a most enjoyable way to make music together without needing a great deal of study.

Leader: Margaret Stenhouse (235 8831)
Co-ordinator: Max George (232 4200 or 021 231 4240)
Fridays weekly, 1:30pm. Resumes June 19th
Venue: Tawa Community Centre

Using Powerpoint [US]

For Presentations.

Pat will take us step by step through the process of converting photos into Powerpoint; adding text and give tips on how to present your story.

Leader: Pat Hammond
Co-ordinator: John Baldwin, [email protected] (237 6501 or 027 349 7777)
Tuesdays 10.30 am starting 15th Sept, 20th Oct, possibly 17th Nov.
Venue: Emmaus Centre

Visits [VS]

A monthly series. Travel by train bus, cable car, shuttle (Goldcard)

No more visits this year

Co-ordinator: Jancis Potter, [email protected] (232 3915 or 027 635 4733)
No more visits this year

Write It - Group 1 [WI 1]

A meeting to share your writing with others. Be inspired to continue your Family History, Memoir, Short Story, Novel or Poem. Suggestions to help with “writers' block”

Co-ordinator: Jasmine Thompson (238 2191)
Tuesdays fortnightly 1.30 pm. resuming 21st July, not 18 August
Venue: Tawa Library

Write It - Group 2 [WI 2]

A meeting to share your writing with others. Be inspired to continue your Family History, Memoir, Short Story, Novel or Poem. Suggestions to help with “writers' block”

Co-ordinator: Jasmine Thompson (238 2191)
Tuesdays fortnightly 1.30 pm. resuming 28th July, not 25 August
Venue: Tawa Library
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