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 before enrolling online as some groups are limited in their numbers.


Amended items:
Keep Fit times clarified -29/12/23
Travel Group Carol Naylor phone changed-29/12/23.  Next meeting topics  4/4/24
Science,Technology &Us Group  SCI -3/4/24 - Start time now 10:00 am 

SGM Special General Meeting for all members Monday 24th June 10 am Tawa Bowling Club


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.

Leader: Margaret Herbert, [email protected] (232 6828 / 027 232 6828)
Co-ordinator: Alison Bayly, [email protected] (027 437 9215)
Every Thursday 10.00am till noon, starts February 8th
Venue: Tawa Community Centre

Board Games (BGM) 4 SESSIONS Course cancelled


Co-ordinator: Alison Bayly [email protected] (027 437 9215)
4th Wednesday of the month, 1.30 - 3.00pm, starts February 28th
Venue: Tawa Union Church Lounge


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, starts February 12th
Venue: Member's home


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. This course is full but another group may be started if there is enough interest.

Leader: Sally Horan, [email protected] (232 6006)
4th Monday of the month at 10am, starts February 26th
Venue: Member's home


The aim is to enable group members to study and learn about the many types of New Zealand and exotic 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, 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.

Leader: Richard Herbert [email protected] (027 445 5942)
Co-ordinator: Helen Roper, [email protected] (897 0155)
2nd Monday of the month at 9:30am, starts February 12th
Venue: Meet at Davies Street/Luckie Street car-park, Tawa

Choir [CHR] (U3A Singers) RUNS ALL YEAR

Over 25 voices sing a wide variety of music. Some popular songs arranged for mixed choir, some serious choral works like Opera Choruses or Oratorios. Some Folk Songs, songs from Musicals and Films and some popular songs. Some are challenging, others are 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: Gail Milner, [email protected] (027 417 4422)
Every Monday at 1:15pm, starts February 12th
Venue: Tawa Union Church

Computer Chatter [CMP] RUNS ALL YEAR

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.

April 24th (date may change as this is Anzac Day) - Virus protection discussion. Note that this is about viruses, not scams.

May 23rd - Home Network 1 - Network fault finding, router access and configuration.

June 27th - Home Network 2 - Sharing files/folders and printers on a home network.

July 25th - Wireless network extenders. Extending the range of a wireless network.

August 22nd - Disposing of old hardware.

September 26th - Data projector tutorial. How to set up and use a data projector.

October 24th - Video clip editing.

November 28th - Artificial intelligence. What is it? How does it work? ChatGPT demonstration.

Leader: Ray Walker [email protected] (027 622 8066)
Co-ordinator: John Baldwin [email protected] (04 237 6501 / 027 349 7777)
4th Thursday of the month at 10am, starts February 22nd
Venue: Tawa Union Church Lounge from April

Cryptic Crosswords (CRS) 4 SESSIONS

Have more fun and exercise your brain with cryptic clues! Easy to learn how to work them out as they follow patterns. Bring a pen! Experienced puzzlers welcome!

Co-ordinator: John Bolland, [email protected] & Barbara Woods, [email protected] (John - 232 6126 / 021 264 0941 & Barbara - 971 5464)
2nd Wednesday of the month, 11.15am - 12.15pm, starts February 14th
Venue: Tawa Union Church

Current Affairs [CAF] RUNS ALL YEAR

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: TBA
Co-ordinator: Helen Roper, [email protected] (897 0155)
1st Wednesday of the month at 10am, starts February 7th
Venue: Emmaus Centre

Discussion Group [DIS] RUNS ALL YEAR

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] (232 6110)
Co-ordinator: Lola Gudsell, [email protected] (232 6110)
2nd Wednesday of the month at 10am, starts 14th February
Venue: Member's home

English Civil Wars 1640-1660 (ECW) SEMESTER 2

The 18th century is known for the US war of Independence and the French Revolution. Less well appreciated is the fact that England beheaded its King and set up a Republic a century BEFORE that. It is a fascinating story that ended with the Stuart monarchy being restored after just a few years. The events of that turbulent period contain many of the elements that eventually led to monumental changes for Britain and the World. There will be four sessions and liberal use will be made of the Simon Schama [BBC] film A History of Britain.

Leader: Dave Smith, [email protected] (232 5084 / 021 991 )
Day & Time: TBA
Venue: TBA

Flax Weaving (FLW) 4 SESSIONS Ended

A beginners class teaching the basic techniques of Raranga (flax weaving) including making puti-puti (flowers), kono and konae (containers). We will also cover the sustainable harvesting of harakeke, tikanga and some of the history of weaving in New Zealand.

Leader: Clare Smith, [email protected]
Co-ordinator: Judith Havill, [email protected] (027 319 8235)
Weekly on four consecutive Tuesday mornings, 10.00am - noon, starts February 6th (TBC)
Venue: Member's home

Garden Group [GGP]

Is in recess unless we can find another coordinator. You are cordially invited to join the Porirua U3A Garden Group - details on their website - www.u3amana.org.nz


Topical health issues, followed by your questions. Two talks per semester

Co-ordinator: Gillian George 021 231 4240 and Sally Horan 232 6006 or 027 439 2731 ([email protected] or [email protected])
Tuesdays at 10.30am. March 12th, May 7th, August 6th & October 8th (all TBC)
Venue: Tawa Union Church


Indoor bowls 2024 is cancelled.

Co-ordinator: Gay Quirke, [email protected] (027 242 3288)
Fridays, weekly from May 3rd, 9 sessions, 1.00 to 2.30 pm (TBC)
Venue: Tawa Union Church Hall

Keep-fit Classes [KFT] RUNS ALL YEAR

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 so most attendees know each other well. A warm and supportive atmosphere is maintained at all times.

$7 per half hour. Start times:

Mondays 1:30 pm

Thursdays 2:00 pm

Fridays 1:00 pm

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

Knitting Together [KNT] RUNS ALL YEAR

A friendly group who get together each month to knit, share knitting skills and patterns, and have a good chat!

Co-ordinator: Gillian George, [email protected] (021 231 4240)
1st Tuesday of the month at 2.00-3:30 pm, starts March 5th
Venue: Members' homes

Literature (LIT) SEMESTER 2

Janet Frame : Glimpses of an Angel

Mary-Lynn will give selected readings from the life and works of Janet Frame to honour the centennial of her birth in August 1924.

Leader: Mary-Lynn Boyes (232 2815 / 022 465 6433)
Co-ordinator: Valerie Saxton, [email protected] (232 7303 or 021 166 3373 )
Two consecutive Wednesdays @ 1.30pm. August 28th & September 4th
Venue: Tawa Library


This group is extremely popular, and it is not just restricted to the guys! Novices are welcome as all models to build are provided whether they are large or small. Numbers are limited

2nd and 4th Mondays 9.30am – 11.30am

Leader: Max George, [email protected] (021 023 59955)
Co-ordinator: Gillian George, [email protected] (021 231 4240)
2nd and 4th Mondays from 9.30 – 11.30am, starts February 12th
Venue: Member's home


Come along and see some good films, and enjoy a free cuppa (and sometimes scones!), courtesy of the cinema. Suggestions of upcoming films you would like to see are welcomed. We share transport to the venue or you can make your own way there.

Co-ordinator: Pat Hammond, [email protected] (027 335 0038)
3rd Wednesday of the month at 10:30 am, starts March 20th
Venue: Lighthouse Cinema, Pauatahanui

Music Performance Group [MPG] RUNS ALL YEAR

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: Jay Smith, [email protected] (232 7812)
1st Thursday of the month at 2.00pm, starts March 7th
Venue: Tawa Union Church

New Books in the Library [NBL] RUNS ALL YEAR

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.

Co-ordinator: Dave Smith, [email protected] ( Dave 232 5084 / 021 991 404)
2nd Thursday of the month at 10am, starts February 8th
Venue: Tawa Library


We play at 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 is required to be viable.

Equipment is provided.

Co-ordinator: Jane de Waal, [email protected] (027 364 1273)
Every Friday, 10am - 12pm, starts February 2nd
Venue: Aotea Lagoon

Philosophy (PHI) RUNS ALL YEAR

The first session will explore a classic moral philosophical dilemma called "The Trolleycar Question” where we are asked “What is the right thing to do?” We can look at various options and why each one might be chosen. Jeremy Bentham’s work is relevant here, and Michael Sandel’s.

2nd Wednesday of the month at 10.00am

Leader: Barbara Woods, [email protected] (1st session only) (971 5464)
2nd Wednesday of the month at 10am, starts February 14th
Venue: Tawa Union Church


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

Leader: Jancis Potter, [email protected]
Co-ordinator: Jancis Potter, [email protected] (232 3915 or 027 635 4733)
Tuesday March 19th, 10.00 - 12noon
Venue: Member's home

Play-Reading [PLR] RUNS ALL YEAR

Come and read a part in a variety of plays – we share the roles throughout the plays, so we all have a turn reading! Maximum of eight people. May continue in the second semester if there is enough interest.

Leader: Barbara Woods, [email protected] (04 971 5464)
4th Wednesday of the month at 11.00am, starting February 28th
Venue: Tawa Community Centre

Presidency of Harry Truman (PHT) 4 SESSIONS

Truman was an obscure politician from Missouri. Nobody thought for a moment he would ever be president of the USA. The great FDR chose him as Vice President in 1944 but had hardly ever met him. FDR had no plans for dying but he did just that three months after being inaugurated for the fourth time. That left Truman faced with the task of pulling together the post-war world with no high-level experience whatsoever. He had not even been told about the atomic bomb - but he was the man who later ordered that it be used on Japan. Later there was the Cold War, The Marshall Plan, the creation of Israel, the Korean War, military desegregation, the dismissal of Gen. MacArthur and the McCarthy hearings. Across four sessions we will examine the startlingly pressured Truman years and include the commendably factual biopic film Truman that stars Gary Sinise.

Leader: Dave Smith, [email protected] (232 5084 / 021 991 404)
Co-ordinator: Dave Smith, [email protected] (232 5084 / 021 991 404)
Postponed - new dates in Semester 2 TBA
Venue: 1st session at member's home, others in Tawa Union Church Lounge


Come along and pit your wits against other quiz addicts. Sessions will be held on a Tuesday afternoon in March, June, August and October.

Co-ordinator: Pat Hammond, [email protected] (027 335 0038)
Tuesdays at 1.30pm, March 26th, June 25th, August 27th & October 22nd
Venue: Tawa Union Church Hall


If you wish to join a friendly walking group this is it. We enjoy urban and bush walks all over Wellington, Hutt and Kapiti. We carpool (donation to the driver) or use our Gold Cards. Wear suitable clothing, shoes and a hat. Bring lunch and water.

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

Reading Shakespeare (RSH) RUNS ALL YEAR

Shakespeare plays were made for acting but reading them aloud in a group is way preferable to reading them silently and alone. We will read two plays in each semester, each lasting up to two hours, with three sessions per play. The four plays are A Winter's Tale, Antony & Cleopatra, The Tempest and The Comedy of Errors. August and October dates will be announced in the mid-year supplement.

Leader: Dave Smith, [email protected] (232 5084 / 021 991 404)
June sessions postponed - new dates in Semester 2 TBA
Venue: Tawa Union Church Lounge

Reduce Rubbish, Reuse, Recycle (RRR) TWO SESSIONS

2 sessions on ways to reduce consumption by reusing and recycling possessions we no longer want or need. And how to encourage our children and grandchildren to do the same.

Leader: John Baldwin, [email protected] (237 6501 / 027 349 7777)
Wednesdays March 13th & August 21st @ 2.15pm (TBC)
Venue: Tawa Community Centre

Resilience (RES) SEMESTER 1

Four one and a half-hour sessions. Find out how to increase your “bounce-back” - your resilience. There are many evidence-based, easy ways of building your capacity to recover or adjust to challenges and difficulties, drawn from learnings in psychology and neuroscience, and we shall cover and practise some of these. Maximum of ten people.

Leader: Barbara Woods, [email protected] (971 5464)
3rd Wednesday of the month @ 10:30 am, starts February 21st
Venue: Tawa Union Church

Science, Technology & Us (SCI) RUNS ALL YEAR

This course will help you understand more about the science and technology affecting our lives. Each monthly session will address the science or technology behind a specific topic, through a presentation with plenty of time for questions and discussion. The first session will be on Science – What it is, how it works, and recognising fake science. Topics for following sessions will be selected by participants. Possible examples include: Artificial Intelligence including ChatGPT; genetic modification; quantum computers; water quality; electric vehicles; weather forecasting; pandemics;…

Co-ordinator: David Wratt, [email protected] & Peter Woods, [email protected] (David - 232 9950 & Peter - 029 462 2408)
4th Wednesday of the month at 10.00am, starting March 27th
Venue: Tawa Union Church Hall

Scrabble (jointly with Mana U3A) PLEASE DO NOT ENROL ONLINE

We have been invited to join Mana U3A members in their Scrabble games. It’s good for keeping the brain active! Held fortnightly on Friday mornings at a member’s home. Contact John for more details.

Co-ordinator: John Bolland, [email protected] (232 6126 / 021 264 0941)
Fortnightly on Friday mornings at 10.00am, starts February 2nd
Venue: Members' homes

Scrap-Booking / Cards [SCB] RUNS ALL YEAR

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

Co-ordinator: Barbara Russell, [email protected] (232 5831 / 021 049 3599)
Every Friday, 10.00am to noon, starts February 2nd
Venue: Tawa Community Centre

Spiritual Discussions (SPD) RUNS ALL YEAR

Open to discussions on Christian views on many issues and your questions. Variety of Biblical topics. Encouragement and exploration. The importance of a spiritual perspective.

Leader: Digby Gudsell, [email protected] (232 6110)
3rd Tuesday of the [email protected], starts February 20th
Venue: Member's home

Table Tennis [TTN] RUNS ALL YEAR

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

Leader: John Bolland, [email protected] (232 6126 / 021 264 0941)
Co-ordinator: Tim Davin, [email protected] (027 204 9536)
Every Thursday at 9:30am, starts February 1st
Venue: Tawa Community Centre Hall

Tai Chi [TCM] Jointly with Mana U3A

Mercedes teaches contemporary forms using the Yang style. All exercise movements done in a session have health benefits. Repetitions are normal in Tai Chi to improve movement. These are relaxed, controlled movements which help improve fitness and flexibility and reduce the risk of joint injury.

NB - This course needs at least 8 members to proceed - regular numbers are currently around 8, so this course will continue in Semester 2. More attendees would be very welcome.

Leader: Mercedes Godinez
Co-ordinator: Susan Lennie, [email protected] & Michael Lynch, [email protected] (Susan - 021 048 1275 & Michael - 022 606 8066)
Every Friday, 10 - 11am, starts February 2nd
Venue: Tawa Union Church Hall


History of the schools of Tawa.

Leader: David Parsons, Tawa Historical Society
Co-ordinator: Alison Bayly, [email protected] (027 437 9215)
Monday October 7th @ 10.00am
Venue: Emmaus Centre

Tawa- Linden Walkers [TLW] RUNS ALL YEAR

We are a friendly walking group who enjoy urban and bush walking. You will receive our programme of weekly walks in the Wellington region when you join the group. We meet on a Tuesday at Tawa Junction, Wellington Beds end of the car park, 9.00am for a 9.15am departure. We carpool, and a koha to the driver is indicated in the programme. You need to bring a drink (preferably water) and something to eat for morning tea and lunch on the lunch days which are indicated in the programme. Wear suitable clothing e.g. walking shoes or hiking boots, walking poles if required and a jacket for all walks.

Co-ordinator: Allan Johnson, [email protected] (021 138 1233)
Every Tuesday at 9:00 am, starts January 9th
Venue: Meet at Tawa Junction, Wellington Beds end of car park

Theatre Visits [THV] RUNS ALL YEAR

Our local theatres offer a brilliant range of productions. Most months I’ll 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)
Monthly, to be advised
Venue: Various

Travel Adventures [TRA] RUNS ALL YEAR

Each month a member shares a 'slide show' of their holiday.

10 May A video of recent South Island travel plus a day on the Havelock, Pelorus Sound, Mail Boat. Ross Williamson

14 June "The Disney Experience at Sea” Tim Smith

Co-ordinator: Carole Naylor, [email protected] (021 08661 6626)
2nd Friday of the month at 10am, starts February 9th
Venue: Emmaus Centre

Ukulele Strum [UKU] RUNS ALL YEAR

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.

Co-ordinator: Malcolm Haddon, [email protected] (021 114 8852)
Every Friday, 1.00 to 2.30pm, starts January 26th
Venue: Tawa Community Centre

Wine Appreciation (WIN) 6 SESSIONS

Enjoy wine? Interested in trying some that you might not otherwise experience? Come along to these sessions, taste some wines and share your views on them. Some food will be provided. A charge of approximately $10 per session will apply, to cover the cost of the wine and food. Time to be decided but probably early evening.

Leader: Reg Hammond, [email protected] (021 569 980)
Co-ordinator: Pat Hammond, [email protected] (027 335 0038)
Thursdays, fortnightly, (dates TBA)
Venue: Member's home


A meeting to share your writing with others. Be inspired to continue your Family History, Memoir, Short Story, Novel or Poem. Usually one of the members suggests a theme for the following meeting for those willing to accept the challenge. Writing is limited to 500 words to allow reading time to be shared.

Co-ordinator: Lola Gudsell, [email protected] (232 6110 / 021 147 0133)
Tuesdays fortnightly @ 1.00pm, starts February 13th
Venue: Tawa Community Centre, Boardroom entrance
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