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.

Ancestry Search [ANS]

This course is for anyone researching their family history or needing help to record family stories for their children and grandchildren. We usually have a speaker on some aspect of family history, and we can help you find those elusive ancestors and distant relations. Come and be inspired to start or to continue your family history journey. Morning tea is available at a small cost.


Co-ordinator: Doug Miller, [email protected] (232 7724 / 020 464 5537)
3rd Friday of the month at 9.30am, continues from July 16th
Venue: Tawa Union Church

Art Group [ART]

Calling all people in Tawa who are skilled in art, please come to share your skills and interests with the art group. You will be very welcome as we are a very sociable group. We want to encourage everyone with or without an ability to sketch or paint to come along to give art a go. We have a wide range of equipment, just bring paper. You may prefer to work on your own project which would be inspiring to the group. Every Thursday 10.00 am to noon.

Leader: Maureen Johnston, [email protected] (232 4555)
Co-ordinator: Alison Bayly, [email protected] (027 437 9215)
Every Thursday 10.00am till noon, continues from July 1st
Venue: Tawa Community Centre

Arthritis Discussion Group [ATH] Now Finished

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

Leader: Marina Fabris, [email protected] (232 7007)
Co-ordinator: Don Hunter, [email protected] (232 9633)
Wednesday February 24th, 1.30 pm
Venue: Tawa Community Centre

Bead Necklaces [BNK]

It is easy and fun to make a bead necklace to complement a favourite top. I have a wide selection of beads and fastenings for you to work with. The initial cost is a bead necklace tray from Spotlight. The charity shops are a great source of beads from necklaces which can be pulled apart.

Leader: Alison Bayly, [email protected] (027 437 9215)
Every Wednesday in September, 1.30 - 3.00pm, continues from September 1st
Venue: Member's home

Books1 [BK1]

Members talk about the books they have 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 Monday of the month at 10am, continues from July 12th
Venue: Member's home

Books2 [BK2]

Members talk about the books they have been reading. No set book. Books are often shared. The discussion about a book often triggers wider discussion on topical issues. Starts: January 25th

Leader: Diane Scott (232 6958)
4th Monday of the month at 10am, continues from July 26th
Venue: Member's home

Botany [BOT]

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. Bring lunch.

Leader: Gil Roper (897 0155)
Co-ordinator: Helen Roper, [email protected] (897 0155)
2nd Monday of the month, 9:30am departure, continues from July 12th
Venue: Davies Street/Luckie Street car-park

Choir [CHR] (U3A Singers)

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 4272 )
Every Monday at 1:15pm, resumes July 26th
Venue: Stephen's Lounge, Tawa Union Church

Computer Chatter [CMP]

Discussions about and keeping up to date with computers, smart phones & tablets (including iPhones & iPads) and software. We’ll announce by email the main topics for the next session. Please enrol now even if only some sessions might interest you.

Leader: John Baldwin, [email protected] (027 349 7777 or 237 6501)
Co-ordinator: Diane Cashmore, [email protected] (232 3152)
4th Thursday of the month at 10am, continues from July 22nd
Venue: Emmaus Centre

CPR [CPR] - Now finished

A “hands-on” session run by the Wellington Free Ambulance. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation and defibrillator training.

Leader: Jan Jones, [email protected] (021 259 9797)
Tuesday 23rd March at 10am
Venue: Emmaus Centre

Current Affairs [CAF]

This group examines and reflects on political events and social trends in NZ and around the world. Topics are chosen by the group and the leader then promotes discussion on each of those topics. Everyone who wishes to speak is always accorded the 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)
1st Wednesday of the month at 10am, continues from July 7th
Venue: St Christopher’s Church Annexe

Cycle Ramblers (CYR)

Join us for a trip on the train to places suitable for a bike ride, all within the 9.00 - 3.00pm Gold Card window. Please note that the assembly point is likely to change month to month, but will always be advised prior to the trip.

Leader: Jenny Cullen, [email protected] (234 1767)
1st Thursday of the month @ 10am
Venue: Redwood Station Southbound platform - this will change month by month

Discussion Group [DIS]

A small group, meeting to have a discussion on proposed topics of community interest after enjoying a simple morning tea.

Leader: Digby Gudsell, [email protected] (2326110)
2nd Wednesday of the month at 10am, continues from July 14th
Venue: Member's home

Drop-In Philosophy [DPH] Now Finished

Drop In is for members who are interested in meeting to discuss ideas. The meetings are modelled on the overseas Socrates cafes and afford participants the opportunity to raise topics that interest or puzzle them. The discussion is at layperson’s level, and the emphasis is on seeing more clearly, on questions and clarification not answers. All U3A members are welcome.

Leader: Don Hunter, [email protected] (232 9633)
Thursdays fortnightly at 2.30pm, continues from July 1st
Venue: Sprig & Fern Tavern, Tawa

Garden Group [GGP]

June 4th: Gardens of the World or Garden History DVD

Leaders: Beverly Parsons and ?

July 2: Rose garden pruning demonstration (at Grasslees?)

Leader: Prue Theobald

August 6th: Why do we get into gardening?

Discussion with a gardening quiz.

Leaders: Sally and Patrick Horan

September 3rd: Plant and produce sale

Leaders: ?

October1st: Visit to ?

November 5th: end of year event

Leader: Various
Co-ordinator: Jeanette Satterthwaite, [email protected] (027 348 7475)
1st Friday of the month at 9.30am, continues from July 2nd
Venue: Emmaus Centre

Growing Food [GFD]

These sessions will be at the Tawa Community Garden where you can get ideas and advice for growing fruit, vegetables and herbs. The garden is in Oxford Street which is easy to access. Various composting methods will be discussed.

Leader: Alison Bayly, [email protected] (027 437 9215)
Every Wednesday in September, 10.00 to 11.30 am, continues from September 1st
Venue: Tawa Community Garden, Oxford Street

Health Issues [HLT]

“Health Issues” is the title for topical, informative and lively talks presented by

General Practitioner, Dr. Kathy Stone: two entertaining sessions per Semester.

They are usually about an hour long, and deal with 2 topics.

Dr. Stone invites questions from the audience, and accepts requests for health topics

that she can address on future occasions.

Leader: Dr. Kathy Stone.
Co-ordinator: Robin Thomson, [email protected] (232 5270 )
Thursdays 9:30am. Next talk 15th July
Venue: Tawa Union Church

Indoor Bowls [INB]

We have the use of sets of bowls and a mat to set up at the Community Centre. We will start small and see how popular this activity becomes.

Leader: Alison Bayly, [email protected] (027 437 9215)
Co-ordinator: Yet to be decided
Every Wednesday in July, 1.00 - 3.00pm, continues from July 7th
Venue: Tawa Community Centre (TBC)

Indoor Games [ING]

A variety of board and card games played by members.

Leader: David Parsons (236 6200 or 027 427 2094)
1st, 3rd and (where applicable) 5th Wednesday of the month at 1.30pm, continues from July 7th
Venue: Tawa Union Church

Keep-fit Classes [KFT]

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. A warm and supportive atmosphere is maintained at all times.

$7 per half hour.

Only U3A members are present during the agreed times

Times available: Mondays 1-2pm Thursdays 2-3pm Fridays 1-2pm

Leader: Mark Anderson (027 458 8674)
Co-ordinator: Brian Wilson, [email protected] (234 7085)
Every Monday, Thursday and Friday, times vary
Venue: Revolve Fitness, Tawa Mall

Knitting for Charity [KNT]

Gather together with your current project to share ideas, problems and patterns over a cuppa.

Leader: Jancis Potter, [email protected] (232 3915/027 635 4733)
1st Tuesday of the month at 2pm, continues from July 6th
Venue: Member's homes

Literature [LIT]

1. Mary-Lynn will present another of her favourite Katherine Mansfield Stories

2. Have you a favourite poem to share?

Leader: Mary-Lynn Boyes
Co-ordinator: Valerie Saxton (232 7303 / 021 166 3373)
Wednesdays October 13th and November 17th at 1.30pm
Venue: Tawa Library

Lunch Group [LCH]

A group who meet once a month, not necessarily on the same day, to sample foods in cheap and cheerful local cafes.

Leader: Diane Scott (232 6958)
Dates are determined month by month as suits the group
Venue: Local Cafes

Meccano [MEC]

There was a time when Meccano was every boy’s dream. 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. This group is extremely popular, and it is not just restricted to the guys!

Leader: Max George, [email protected] (232 4200)
Co-ordinator: Gillian George, [email protected] (232 4200)
2nd and 4th Mondays from 9.30 – 11.30am, continues from July 12th
Venue: Member's home

Movie Group [MOV]

Come along and see a good film or two, and enjoy a free tea or coffee, courtesy of Lighthouse Cinema. Suggestions of upcoming films you would like to see will be welcomed. We can share transport to the cinema.


Co-ordinator: Pat Hammond, [email protected] (027 335 0038)
1st Wednesday of the month, times will depend on screening times
Venue: Lighthouse Cinema, Pauatahanui

Music Performance Group [MPG]

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.


Co-ordinator: Jancis Potter, [email protected] (232 3915 or 027 635 4733)
1st Thursday of the month at 1.30pm, resumes August 5th
Venue: Member's home

New Books in the Library [NBL]

NOW TWO GROUPS, each meets once in the month.

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 Tawa 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 possible. Tea and coffee are provided by the library.

The New Books in the Library course has split into two due to rising numbers.

You will belong to only one of these groups:

Group 1 meets on the 2nd Thursdays with Pauline Gallagher.

Group 2 meets on the 4th Thursdays with Dave Smith.

Both groups meet in the Library at 10am.


Co-ordinator: Pauline Gallagher, [email protected] (232 4653)
2nd and 4th Thursdays at 10 am, continues from July 8th (Group 1) and July 22nd (Group 2)
Venue: Tawa Library

Opera [OPR]

In Recess

Outdoor Games [OUG]

At present the two games are petanque and croquet and the venue is the very pleasant Aotea Park by the Aotea lagoon. Hot drinks and biscuits are provided at half time. These games are somewhat weather-dependent but the hardy souls in this group turn out regardless of the weather! A minimum of 8 players required to be viable. Equipment provided.


Co-ordinator: Eileen Preval, [email protected] (232 4272)
Every Friday, 10am - 12pm, continues from July 2nd
Venue: Aotea Lagoon

Parks & Reserves in Tawa [P&R] Now Finished

1: Native Bush Reserves of Tawa – location, some history, flora and fauna, pest control, source of the reserves’ names

2: Guided walk in one of these reserves

3: Parks of Tawa – location, history, iconic features, history of groups using the parks today, source of parks’ names

4: Guided walk in one of the parks/exotic plant reserves to view iconic the features present

Leader: Gil Roper (897 0155)
Co-ordinator: Helen Roper, [email protected] (897 0155)
Every Thursday in March at 10.00am, starting March 4th
Venue: Emmaus Centre

Philosophy : its impact on our lives [PHI]

Philosophy is a vital activity that has impacted on human lives for eons. It has transformed societies and is a tool of reasoning that changes over time in terms of detail but not in its essential functions.

With intense class participation Dave will look at:

> The Plain Language ideas of Socrates and those of the Everyday Language school from Cambridge (1930s)

> How the Enlightenment/Age of Reason happened

> How many commonly held views of such standard ideas as Cogito Ergo Sum are slightly erroneous or limiting

> Philosophers were real people with penetrating minds AND human bodies that give practical effect to mindfulness (Philosophy is not solely a mental phenomenon)

> How Philosophy is embedded in poetry and songs e.g. Joni Mitchell, Cole Porter

> Philosophy is a lively subject, certainly not a disconnected/dead one and produces real social effects across time

> Much Philosophy relies on the use and analysis of language. Precise language is now under threat. Philosophy can adjust and reduce areas of misunderstanding or give more valid weight to misused words

> Look at some unusual uses for Modern Philosophy e.g. Noam Chomsky's The Responsibility of Intellectuals in the Vietnam War

Leader: Dave Smith, [email protected] (232 5084 / 021 991 404)
3rd Thursday of the month @10am
Venue: Luke Chapel, Tawa Union Church

Piano Recital [PNO]

Jancis, Helen and Chris will present another recital of piano music. Solos, duets and works for 2 pianos. Refreshments will be served during the interval.

One session each half year.

Leader: Jancis Potter, [email protected]
Co-ordinator: Jancis Potter, [email protected] (232 3915 or 027 635 4733)
Tuesday September 14th, 10.00 - 12noon
Venue: Member's home

Pickleball [PBL]

Try out a new sport, a combination of elements of badminton, tennis and table tennis - the first two weeks will cost our regular $2, the sessions on the 21st and 28th will cost $5, a contribution to the running costs at the Badminton Club


Co-ordinator: Alison Bayly, [email protected] (027 437 9215)
Every Wednesday in July, 10 - 11am, starting July 7th
Venue: Wellington North Badminton Club, Taylor Park, Tawa

Quiz [QUZ]

Join us and test your knowledge of a whole range of subjects. Some questions are easy, some less so - but then, the easy questions are always the ones you know the answer to!


Co-ordinator: Pat Hammond, [email protected] (027 335 0038)
Tuesdays July 20th, September 21st and November 23rd, 1.30 - 3.00pm
Venue: Tawa Union Church Hall

Ramblers [RBS]

A social walking group. Bring water and your lunch. Meet at Davies Street/Luckie Street car-park.


Co-ordinator: Shirley Williamson, [email protected] (232 6746)
Every Thursday at 10am, continues from July 1st
Venue: Davies Street/Luckie Street car-park

Reading Shakespeare [RDS]

In recess.

Scottish History [SCH]

A People Like No Other – A glimpse into the early history of Northern Scotland.

The Romans named them “The Picts”. But who were they? You may decide from the facts to be presented to you whether they were the Barbarians, as described in detail by the Romans, or a people with the skills to halt the advance of this powerful, invading army.

Much has been discovered in recent times that is full of interesting archaeological evidence and tantalizing clues which may help you to form your own opinions and to determine why many can proudly claim the 10% Pictish DNA that exists in Scots today.

Leader: Maureen Johnston
Co-ordinator: Alison Bayly, [email protected] (027 437 9215)
Tuesday July 13th, 10 - 11.30am
Venue: Boardroom, Tawa Community Centre

Scrabble (jointly with Mana U3A)

We have been invited to join Mana U3A members in their Scrabble games. It’s good for keeping the brain active! As this is a group set up by Mana U3A you cannot enrol on this website - please contact John directly if you’re interested.


Co-ordinator: John Bolland, [email protected] (232 6126)
Monthly on Friday mornings
Venue: Members' homes

Scrap-Booking [SCB]

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)
Every Friday at 9.30am, continues from July 2nd, not 16, 23 July; 8, 15 October
Venue: Tawa Commuity Centre

Table Tennis [TTN]

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

Leader: Virginia Ng [email protected] (232 9971)
Every Thursday at 9.30am, continues from July 1st
Venue: Tawa Community Centre Hall

Tai Chi [TCB]

Brenda of Tawa Tai Chi will take you through some simple Tai Chi and Qigong exercises tailored for older adults. You can even practice while sitting in a chair. Regular Tai Chi practice has many proven health benefits including improving your balance, muscle strength and stamina.

Leader: Brenda Wordsworth, Tawa Tai Chi
Co-ordinator: Alison Bayly, [email protected] (027 437 9215)
Every Wednesday in August, 1.30 - 2.30p.m, starts August 4th
Venue: Linden Community Centre

Tai Chi [TCM]

Mercedes teaches contemporary forms using the Yang Style. All exercise movements done in a session have their Health Benefits. Repetitions are normal in TaiChi to improve movement. These are relaxed and controlled movements, which will help improve fitness and flexibility and reduce the risk of joint injury.

Leader: Mercedes Godinez
Co-ordinator: Pat Hammond, [email protected] (027 335 0038)
1st & 3rd Fridays of the month, 10 - 11am, starting July 2nd
Venue: Luke Chapel, Tawa Union Church

Tawa History [TWH] Now Finished

More about the Old Porirua Road. This was introduced last year and now will be expanded upon.

Leader: Bruce Murray
Co-ordinator: Jancis Potter, [email protected] (232 3915 / 027 635 4733)
Monday 8th & 15th March
Venue: Emmaus Centre

Theatre Visits [THV]

Our local theatres offer a brilliant range of productions. Each month I email you with suggestions and ask for expressions of interest. After I've made a provisional booking I will ask you to pay into the U3A theatre account, which is then transferred to the appropriate theatre: Circa, Mana Little Theatre, Gryphon, Khandallah Arts Theatre, Kapiti Playhouse or Hutt Repertory

Leader: Alison Bayly (027 437 9215)
Co-ordinator: Alison Bayly, [email protected] (027 437 9215)

Travel Adventures [TRA]

Friday 11 June Geoff Marshall Bhutan (in the remote Himalayas)

Friday 9 July Rob Julian A virtuous night in a Thai brothel, and travels with my graduate son through post Kmer Rouge Cambodia

Friday 13 August Helen & Gil Roper Travels Through Morocco

Friday 10 September Margaret Rushbook Small boat cruising - Pitcairn Island and French Polynesia.

Friday 8 October Carole Naylor European Bus Tour

Friday 12 November Larraine Talbot & Rob Julian Cycling down the Rhein


Co-ordinator: Carole Naylor, [email protected] (233 8033 )
2nd Friday of the month at 10am, continues from July 9th
Venue: Emmaus Centre

Ukulele [UKU]

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: Looking for a leader
Co-ordinator: Max George (232 4200 or 021 023 59955)
Every Friday at 1.30pm, continues from July 2nd
Venue: Tawa Community Centre

Visits [VIS] Course Cancelled

April 21st: Colonial Cottage (Nairn St.) $8

May19th: Katherine Mansfield's house & Garden $8

Wet Weather Alternatives (All FREE): Te Papa; National Library; Museum of Wgtn City & Sea, Wellington City Gallery Travel by train bus, cable car, shuttle (Goldcard). An opportunity to stop for lunch or a snack at most places is available (not included in the price). All travel is by public transport or free shuttle and your Gold Card will be accepted.


Co-ordinator: Jancis Potter, [email protected] (232 3915 or 027 635 4733)
3rd Wednesdays am. Monthly. Starts: Feb 17th

Western Philosophy [WPH]

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. In this course we are introduced to philosophy websites, given comprehensive notes on topics such as theories of knowledge, the question of identity (who am I?), the philosophy of religion, ethics, the meaning of life, and we dip into the works of philosophers, all at a laypersons level. The best part for many is our fortnightly discussion, held at the Sprig and Fern.


Co-ordinator: Don Hunter, [email protected] (232 9633)
Mondays fortnightly at 2:00 pm.
Venue: Sprig & Fern

Word, Excel and Powerpoint [WEP] - Now Finished

Learn to create your own documents, spreadsheets and presentations...it's easier than you think!

Leader: Pat Hammond (027 335 0038)
10.30am – 12.00 Dates: Wednesdays 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th May
Venue: Emmaus Centre

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”.

Each meeting a member chooses a new topic as a challenge.

It is always optional but prompts some interesting stories or poems.


Co-ordinator: Kay Luck (04 232 1546)
Tuesdays fortnightly @ 1.30pm, continues from July 13th
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”.

Each meeting a member chooses a new topic as a challenge.

It is always optional but prompts some interesting stories or poems.


Co-ordinator: Kay Luck (04 232 1546)
Tuesdays fortnightly @ 1.30pm, continues from July 6th
Venue: Tawa Library
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