Study Groups are the core of our activities, with a focus on active learning. Members contribute to the discussions and also enjoy the friendships that develop. Once you are a member of U3A you may join any of the below listed study groups, unless they are full. If you wish to join a group please send an email to email@example.com or contact the person listed below each group. The dates are monthly.
3rd Wednesday 10:00 am
Judy Hanna Phone: 489-4425
Members study and present talks on Architecture, covering design, materials used, and construction methods of buildings. Occasional visits to significant buildings
4th Friday 10:00 am
John White Phone: 486-2398
Talks prepared by various members, and sometimes taken from DVDs, cover a wide range from astronomical instruments and basic observing to the life cycle of stars and cosmology. Occasional observing nights are scheduled using the Convenor’s 10” Dobsonian telescope, depending on weather conditions.
Auckland Heritage and History
3rd Friday 10:00 am
Christine Ball: 410-7789
Visits to heritage buildings, and house meetings, discussing the history of the buildings and the people involved in their beginnings. Members will be encouraged to share their own knowledge and experiences, and through their contacts may be able to arrange for us to visit privately owned buildings. Carpooling encouraged, and we may have café lunches during trips.
Cabbages and Kings
2nd Thursday 1:30 pm
Rowena Scaletti: 445-8842
Liz Milne: 963-2810
Group members give short talks about whatever interests them at the moment, which leads to general discussion about all manner of things such as “shoes and ships and sealing wax - cabbages and kings. - why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings” as the Walrus said.
Chinese Painting and Art
2nd Friday 1:30 pm
Doreen Brown: 473-0871
Covers all aspects of Chinese Culture. Study the history of Chinese Painting, materials and artists, and discuss reproductions from old masterpieces to contemporary works. Practical painting covers a wide variety of subjects. Attend exhibitions of painting, calligraphy and photography. Study and visit Festivals.
3rd Tuesday 1:30 pm
Jenny Adams: 489-5914
Each monthly meeting features a different opera shown on a large screen. Recent operas include Berlioz’s “La Damnation de Faust”, Dvorak’s “Rusalka”, Puccini’s “La Rodine”, Richard Strauss’s “Salome” and Verdi’s “Falstaff”.
3rd Thursday 1:30 pm
Stephen Warnes: 027-646-3866
Various Topics led by an experienced Leader
Famous and Infamous
2nd Friday 10:00 am
Sue Charlton: 488-0428
Two members each month select a person – living or dead – to present and discuss. It is an informal presentation and very interesting. Recent subjects include: Dr Crippen, Rudolph Hess, Rasputin, Florence Nightingale, Degas and Henry the Navigator. Interspersed with a good morning tea
Finance and Investment
3rd Monday 9:45 am
Graham Alcock: 473-5607
Two or three topics are discussed at each meeting - general financial issues and specific companies. The agenda is emailed to members earlier so they can research and prepare for the meeting. Previous topics are revisited as they become newsworthy, or the Group’s knowledge increases. No need to be an active investor or financial wizard to participate in this friendly group
4th Monday 1:45 pm
Sheila Young: 480:9116
This group encourages an interest in all aspects of film making. We meet monthly, sometimes with a speaker or we study a particular topic, for example the work of a director. We take a keen interest in the New Zealand Film Festival and often a quick email gathers a group to see a well-recommended film. Social activity is very important to us.
2nd Thursday 9:45 am
Judy Hanna: 489-4425
The origins, history and sources of our food and the processes involved in creating it. Topics studied in alphabetical sequence eg. Apples, Bananas, Cereals.. Jams & Jellies. Members research, then give a short presentation on a chosen subject and discussion follows. Occasional visits
|Foundations of Western Civilization|
Every second and 4th Tuesday of the month(except school holidays)
Where: Sky lounge, Mayfair Village, 14 Oteha Valley Rd,
Time: 9.45 to 12 mid-day
Graham Ritson: 489-5366
Discover the essential nature, evolution, and perceptions of Western civilization from its humble beginnings in the great river valleys of Iraq and Egypt to the dawn of the modern world.
With these 48, 30 minutes lectures on the people, places, ideas, and events that make up The Foundations of Western Civilization, award-winning scholar and teacher Thomas F. X. Noble of the University of Notre Dame takes you through the vast and rich territory of Western civilization.
2nd & 4th Wednesday 2:00 pm
Ann Andreassend: 410-3297
We start with ‘homework’ from members, in French of course - a paragraph or two about a holiday, a film, a book, or even a joke. Then we have afternoon tea and continue reading our book. At present it is the autobiography of Georges Simenon, a fascinating memoir.
3rd Tuesday of Month 9:45 am
Boyd Miller: 488-7595
Exploring the physical structure and substances of the Earth, its history, and the processes which act on it. Programme follows a theme decided by the group. Members research a topic and contribute short presentations to the group. Occasional visiting speaker or visit to a place of interest
2nd & 4th Tuesday 9:30 am
Peter Robinson: 489-4494
Ahead of each meeting a German text is emailed to members. This is read and translated at the next session – everybody taking turns. These texts are generally taken from the Internet and usually provoke lively discussions. We are lucky to have Annette who was born in Germany, and she gives a short dictation for us to write down and then compare with a typed copy.
3rd Wednesday 1:30 pm
Chris Ball: 410-7789
A small informal group with emphasis on discussion. The current areas of interest are the major changes taking place in global society, and developments which may herald a third industrial revolution.
1st & 3rd Tuesday 10:00 am
Cherry Worger: 486-0615
The initial theme for 2016 is Renaissance Art. Themes are decided by consensus at the end of each previous year. The person hosting the session is also responsible for the presentation of their chosen topic. The twice monthly sessions begin at 10am with morning tea tea or coffee and about 30 minutes of informal catching up. We have a gallery visit about twice yearly.
2nd Monday 9.45am
Andrew Pack: 418-1925
2nd & 4th Thursday 10:00 am
Geoff Sheehan: 620-5169
Learn about the Latin Language. As this is an incremental course which builds on past lessons the group numbers are now closed.
1st & 3rd Friday 1:30 pm
David Johnson: 473-8942
Join us and play the classic game. If you would like to learn Mah Jong then this is the group to join. Join us and have fun while playing.
1st Thursday 10:00am
Georgie Maurice: 473-0404
Historical events, individuals and unforseen circumstances great and small that shaped and changed history.
Martyn Geary: 027-444-3219
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Prehistory, history, religion and culture, with a little bit of easy language learning.
Now is the chance to become even more educated!
Unravel the mysteries.
Mind Body Philosophy(MBP)
Graham Ritson: 489-5366
or email email@example.com
How can 3lb of grey matter in our skulls produce the world of subjective experience. What is the relationship between Mind and body.
The mental and the physical
Modern English Literature
1st & 3rd Tuesday 9:45 am
Pearl Thomson: 449-0450 or
Carolyn Harvey: 489-6334
Post-WW2 literature generally - usually novels, but also short stories and poetry. Topics have covered a wide range of writers and themes from NZ to other parts of the Commonwealth. The present focus is female American writers to be followed by male writers for comparison. Presentations are followed by discussion.
2nd & 4th Wednesday
Graeme: 489-5526 or
Programmes are selected democratically - the group (one of the original U3A Takapuna study groups) has covered many topics in its 24 years. Members volunteer to prepare a wide variety of talks covering individuals, events, countries, wars etc. We learn from each other while enjoying our regular socialising. Themes for 2016 are ‘The movement of Peoples - Migratory or Forced’. Visitors & new members are welcome.
4th Thursday 1:30 pm
Jennifer Knutsen: 475-6797
Each monthly meeting features the playing and discussion of two items. Topics in previous years have included “My favourite composers, musician or singer” and “Music from france, Scandanavia and Spain”. This year we are selecting items from RNZ Concert Programme’s “Settling the Score”
2nd & 4th Monday's (apart from School Holidays)
9:45 am Sky Lounge Mayfair Village
Jan Judson: 021 396 152
Studies in aspects of western classical music from 100 c.e. to the present. Topics are studied thematically with lots of opportunities to listen to and talk about music of many different sorts. In 2018 we shall be studying the great turning points in music notation and printing, the story of the piano, and the development of the orchestra and its instruments. There are lots of opportunities for everyone to participate in presentations, discussions and the sharing of music of significance to them. We have members from right across the musical spectrum, from those who have performed and taught at the highest levels to those who simply enjoy listening to music for the joy it brings to their lives. Everyone is welcome.
2nd & 4th Monday 2.00 pm
John White: 486-2398
An Inter-U3A instrument playing group to encourage seniors to keep playing. Present instruments: violin, viola, cello, two harps, flute, recorder, piano. Various levels of ability...all welcome! We mainly play classical music but enjoy music from the shows etc. as well. We have given some short concerts to outside senior groups.
Other People’s Lives
4th Tuesday 2.00 pm
Patricia Lissette: 489-9465
Looking at other people’s lives in the form of biographies and autobiographies. “The Seven Lives of Lady Barker” was the first biography studied, written by the Group’s convenor. Members research and present a subject for discussion each month
2nd Monday 1:30 pm
Val Overington: 486-5582
Poetry reading from a wide variety of poets from Chaucer to the present day chosen consensually and often influenced by anniversaries e.g. WW1 We read a short biography of the poet’s life, then we read two poems each of our own choice by that poet.
1st Wednesday 1:30 pm
Peter Waller: 426-3662
The programme is planned by the Convenor 3-4 months ahead and can include engineering, mathematics and science topics. Recent talks have been Ageing, Biological clocks, Francis Bacon, Fluoridisation, Fractals, Lasers, Magnetism, Migrations, Navigation, Super volcanoes and 3D printing. The meetings are held in homes that can accommodate the twelve members – no need to be a former scientist or engineer!
1st Friday 9:45 am
A small informal group with emphasis on increasing our word knowledge. At the end of our games, there is a discussion about words that are new to us and their meanings.
3rd Monday 9:45 am
Graham Alcock: 473-5607
Members volunteer to talk about an aspect of Shakespeare. e.g. his life, one of his plays or sonnets; followed by discussion. Visitors and new members are very welcome.
1st Tuesday 2:30 pm
Stephen Warnes: 027-646-3866
Social Science New Group
2nd Friday 10:00 am
Pam Robinson: 489-4494
This group enjoys studying the history, geography, art, music and interesting personalities of Spain and her erstwhile colonies in South America. We usually have 2 topics per meeting, and also spend some time reading and discussing some simple Spanish texts
3rd Monday 10:00 am
Jocelyn Spinley: 445-3329
Speakers come from anyone who has had a trip overseas. One speaker visited India as an air hostess and also as a tourist. Another visited his son in Brazil and shared the realities of life there, including walking 8km to the nearest bus, having no hot water and needing to climb a tree to connect to the Internet.
World War Two
2nd Tuesday 1:00 pm
Ian Morris: 480-0919
From pre-war causes to post war recovery. Chronological study including political leaders, military leaders, the many roles of women in war, economic aspects , neutral countries, alliances etc. Viewing of actual film footage, and focus on particular issues in more detail – not just the various battles. Active input and discussion encouraged from all members.