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All activities are planned by the members who act as planners, convenors, presenters and/or hosts for study groups.

There are no mandatory activities. However members are expected to participate in at least one study group. Members are also encouraged to attend the open meetings held at the Elim Christian Centre, 625 Main Road Stoke each second month.

All members are encouraged to take a turn at generating, convening, and/or hosting group(s).

Groups function in a variety of ways. Most operate through each member taking a turn to research and present their findings to the other members. Some groups have a facilitator who has the skills and knowledge to teach a specific subject. Other groups learn together using the available resources. There are variations to this but all members are strongly encouraged to contribute what they can towards the learning within the group.

New groups and vacancies within existing groups are published in the bi-monthly newsletters and all groups are listed on the study group page.

The Committee is elected each year. Committee members meet once every two months and have the responsibility of organising the general meetings, managing finances and ensuring that members are kept well informed about the activities of the organisation. Each Committee member has a specific area of responsibility.

Groups usually meet in member’s home. This may limit the numbers who can attend. If there is a cost to hiring facilities, the costs are met by the members. If more members wish to join a popular group than can be accommodated, the uncatered-for members are encouraged to start a second group at a different venue with a second convenor.

Most meetings are held during daylight hours.

A Committee member acts as Study Group Coordinator who maintains oversight of all the groups, advertises groups, and keeps a record of member participation.

Beginners French

Convenor: Steven Shaw
Venue = 116 Queens Road, Nelson. 1st and 3rd Thursdays 2.00 to 4.00 starting February 4

Conversational French for beginners and/or false beginners. The approach to this will be "communicative", which really means participants doing a lot of the speaking in useful situations
First aim; fun -- learning a language can be a lot of fun
Second aim: exercising grey matter, including mine
Third aim: learning enough spoken French to cope with regular situations when eventually we can go back there
Fourth aim: Hearing and understanding spoken French, always daunting, but thrilling when it happens
Fifth aim: more fun --- surprise yourself, anyone can do it!


Convenor: Sally Mason
Various venues am, first Thursdays

This group meets at members' homes where the host discusses the books that he/she have found memorable in his/her lives.


Convenor: Paul Bieleski
10-12 2nd (and 4th?) Thursday each month at 44B Parkers Road Tahunanui

A look at real and
imaginary conspiracies for fun.

Creative Writing Group

Convenor: Les Cook
Alternate Wednesdays; 9 Valhalla Lane, Richmond at 10 am re starting January 26 2022

This group encourages members to explore creativity in their writing and share this within the group.


Convenor: Sally Warren
85 Cleveland Tce., Nelson 10-12am, fourth Tuesdays

Free discussion of current events

Great Britain

Convenor: Ngaire Birch
2nd Tuesday of the month, 10:00 to 12:00 starting 14 April.

This group will look at the history of Great Britain through architecture, language, customs, personalities etc over the centuries.

Great Discontinuity

Convenor: Brian Kepple
10am - noon. 1st and 3rd Fridays at 8 Austin Ward Heights, Enner Glynn

Viewing of selected documentary dvds with discussion about the environmental, energy, and economic crises facing the world, such as peak oil, global warming with climate change, overpopulation, and probable financial collapse.


Convenor: Stella Say
Various venues 12.30pm, alternative Sundays

Meet up with U3A Nelson members once a fortnight to enjoy good food and good company in a different cafe or restaurant.

Meets 12.30, alternate Sundays


Convenor: Richard Talbot
Nelson 1:30 pm, second Thursdays

This is a small group which meets to discuss their reading over the previous month. Its main appeal is the opportunity to share recent reading with friends - taking a fairly critical and in-depth approach.

Although we initially concentrated on contemporary fiction our field has diverged to include a much broader range of books including non-fiction, older books, re-reads and classics.

We differ from many conventional Book Clubs in that there is no "set book" but have discussed using this style every so often or concentrating on a narrower topic, such as NZ Literature, a particular author, or poetry.


Convenor: Colin Bell
4th Wednesday, starting April 28. 10 Woodstock Place, Stoke. 9.45 for 10.15


Up the Garden Path

Convenor: Lyn Falconer
Various 10-12am, third Wednesdays

A group for gardening enthusiasts, and for those who aspire with enthusiasm to share their knowledge and fun.

To get more details about any of these groups, please contact the SG Coordinator

21 Lessons for the 21st century

Convenor: Jenny Pullen
First Tuesday of the month at 2pm in the homes of members of the group.

What are today’s greatest challenges and choices? The 21 lessons are aimed to stimulate further thinking and help readers participate in some of the major discussions of our time."

Alternative Systems of Governing

Convenor: Kay Hunter
Kay's place in The Wood, 9.30 to 11.30, 1st and 3rd Friday

An exploration of differing political systems. We examine country by country, researching and presenting how each country elects their political leaders, discussing how the political landscape affects the people.

Antiques, Vintage & Retro

Convenor: Judy Pittmann
3rd Monday 2.00pm. Various venues.

Members will meet in various homes and discuss the antiques and curios that they have picked up over the years and the personal significance they may have

Anything But Classical

Convenor: Roger Haynes
Nelson pm. first Tuesdays @ 2.00 pm./ Venue is shared amongst group members.

As the title implies, this is a group that wishes to explore all sorts of music, other than classical, which is already explored by another group.

We are a lively group who are passionate about music and its impact upon us. Our interests are wide ranging and nothing is excluded.

As source materials we use our own collections, the library and the internet to research various artists, genres and periods to increase our knowledge, understanding, and enjoyment.

Aspects of World History

Convenor: Tom Woodhouse/Paul Lunberg
47/16 Sargeson St, Stoke, 10-12am, fourth Thursdays

Usually we work through a series of DVDs on a specific subject area, for example the Normans. This may be a series of say 4 discs each of an hour. After tea we sit and discuss the issues associated with the DVD and that period of history.

Chess for Beginners

Convenor: Grace Sutherland
28 Collingwood St, the Wood, @ 10 am, alternate Mondays

Largely for beginners, and priority will be given to beginners, but players with some experience are also welcome. You will be expected to mentor new players, as well as having opportunities to play other experienced opponents. This is very much a shared learning group.


Convenor: David Turner
Richmond am, second Wednesdays

Civilisations past and present, plus people from them, are studied usually through Youtube videos.

Classical Music Appreciation

Convenor: Roger Haynes
Summerset Village, Stoke 10-12am, second and fourth Mondays @ 2.00pm.

A group for those who enjoy listening to classical music or would like to find out more. We explore various themes such as music from a particular country and take it in turns to present our own choices to the group.


Convenor: David Turner
The first Monday of the month, 2:00 to 4:00 at the convenors' homes in Richmond.

This is a wide concept which can cover traditional European exploration, explorers from various civilisations, female explorers, exploration in medicine, technology, science, space etc. members will research topics of choice and present to the group

Exploring Nelson Walking Group

Convenor: Judy Pittmann
Various 10-12am, weekly Thursdays

A regular walking group for those wanting to keep fit and get to know the Nelson area.

Each member of the group takes a turn to select an interesting route.

We walk for an hour or so at an intermediate level, then meet for a coffee at a local cafe.

Finance and Investment

Convenor: Alec Waugh
Oakwoods, 4th Monday of the month, 9:45 - 11:45

Aims to increase understanding of topics as diverse as Inflation, Consumer Price Index, Bankruptcy, Taxation, Maori Economy.

Flat Earth Walking Group

Convenor: Rosemary Evatt

Genesis to Exodus

Convenor: David Wright
Enner Glyn: 2 + 4 Tuesdays, 2-4pm

Formation of the solar system/other known planetary systems, geological history of the Earth, Life on Earth, various extinctions + evolutionary leaps,current climate change and potential to mitigate it.

Hands in the Garden

Convenor: Angela Greig and Judy Pittman
Various venues am, second Wednesdays

A group for garden lovers and always lunch after a garden tour. Waiting list of 3 as at 20 Jan 2021

Visit gardens and nurseries and discover the secrets of gardening from those in the know.

History of Jazz 2

Convenor: Ron O'Reilly
Nelson am, second and fourth Fridays

Origins and Development of Early Jazz - late 1800's to the 1930's.

Have you ever thought that there was a time in relatively recent history that Jazz did not exist? What were the musical and social factors that led to the development of Jazz in the very early days? We listen to music played by the early pioneers of Jazz and discuss how and why Jazz developed the way it did.

Into The Wide BLUES Yonder

Convenor: Ian Macdougall
5 Golf Haven Way, Annesbrook, Nelson 2-4pm, second Mondays

This group will study the origins and evolution of the genre once known as 'race music' and which we now call the Blues from its earliest-known performers through to the present day.


Convenor: Liz Chinnery-Jack-Bowyer
Monthly, 4th Tuesday, 40 Ngawatu Road, Stoke, 2-4pm

We share readings from poetry, fiction, non-fiction,diary, speeches around a chosen theme.

Military History

Convenor: David Turner
Olive Estate Lifestyle Village, Richmond 10-12am, first and third Wednesdays

Military History from Ancient Egypt through to at least Vietnam.

Discussions under headings such as politics, personnel, material, strategy, tactics, successes, blunders and the overall effect on societies of the time.

There is a wealth of information online, both documentary and CGI and this is supplemented with literature, ie histories, biographies, autobiographies etc.

Nightingale Reading Group

Convenor: Averil Kepple
Tahuna Library pm, second and fourth Mondays except Public Hols

Discussion of books by members who love reading at the Tahunanui Library.


Convenor: Heather Clendon and David Turner
Second and fourth Fridays of the month, 9:45 - 12:30. At convenors' homes.

For opera lovers. DVDs of well-know opera performances will be shown and discussed.

Russia: Then and Now

Convenor: Nigel Beaumont
The first Thursday of the month, afternoon, at various members' homes

This group will study and research the many features that Russia has to offer: these can be geographical, architectural, political. the arts, people past and present.
Members will present their research to others in the group: approx 30 - 40 minutes

Serious Discussions

Convenor: Liz Chinnery-jack-Bowyer
10.00 - noon, 1st Monday each month. 40 Ngawhatu Road, Stoke

A group for those who wish to spend time exercising their grey matter and exploring some of life's big issues.
This year we have covered
1.Liberal democracy as an appropriate political system for the 21st century
2. Information and news - sources and their accuracy
To come
Sexuality; Violence; Religion; Economics; Crime and Punishment; Population; Education; Racism; Morality...
Each members prepares a short statement setting out their understanding and views on the topic after which there is discussion and sometimes debate. Views may differ, debate can be fiery but no blows are exchanged

TED Talks 1

Convenor: Max Robertson
15 Forget-me-not Lane, Richmond 2-4pm, first and third Mondays

Members of this group watch 20 minute, cogent, persuasive speeches from some of the world's great thinkers.

Each talk is followed by a discussion on the ideas that are introduced.

Members of the group take turns to select and present the talks.

TED Talks 2

Convenor: Paul Lunberg
The group meets at the home of Brian Say,47/16 Sargeson St, Stoke, at 9.30 each 1st and 3rd Thursday

Viewing and discussion of presentations on various topics of interest from TED Talks on Youtube.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design.

WEA Book Discussion Group

Convenor: Frances Taylor
Various venues pm, first Mondays

A book discussion group that uses the WEA System.

NB: An annual membership subscription fee of $60 + postage to WEA applies to each member.

Write Your Life - 1

Convenor: Ian Macdougall
Villa 89 Summerset Village, Stoke, 2nd Wednesday @ 2pm

Creating a record of your life and times and sharing your writings with other members.

Write Your Life 6

Convenor: Angela Greig
1st Thursday of the month at the convenor's home in Stoke, from 2 - 4 pm.

This group follows the usual WYL format but with prompts and guidelines to help the novice writer.