Palmerston North

Palmerston North

What is U3A?

Welcome to the U3A Manawatu website. The U3A (University of the Third Age) movement began in France in the mid-seventies and has now spread to many countries. U3A has hundreds of thousands of members throughout the World and more than 80 branches in New Zealand.

U3A is a response to the idea that human life is divided into three periods: firstly childhood and schooling, secondly child rearing and work, and thirdly retirement (the Third Age).  The Third Age is seen as an important opportunity for listening, learning and understanding. It is during retirement that people can put into practice the idea of a university as a community of like-minded people who seek a greater understanding of life.

Unique characteristics of U3A

• Taps the reservoir of knowledge, skills and experience of older people through self-help learning.
• Provides opportunities for reading, research, discussions and field trips.
• The atmosphere for learning is informal and friendly.
• There are no compulsory activities or examinations.
• Costs are minimal.
• Meetings are held in private homes, libraries, art galleries, schools etc.

U3A Manawatu

U3A Manawatu was formed in 2000 and currently has over 330 members. In a recent survey, members told us that U3A:
• Adds value to their lives.
• Provides mental stimulation.
• Allows them to learn from others.
• Is friendly and stress free.

U3A Manawatu is twinned with Durham U3A, England.

Some U3A Manawatu members are seen here at Te Papa in Wellington on a day trip to view the European Masters art exhibition

Judge Sir David Caruthers presenting his U3A Manawatu seminar on The Parole System in New Zealand at All Saints Community Centre

Recent U3A Manawatu Documents (PDFs)

Click for the May 2018 Newsletter
Click for the February 2018 Newsletter
Click for the November 2017 Newsletter
Click for the August 2017 Newsletter
Click for the 2017 Annual Report

Learning groups

U3A Manawatu is offering a comprehensive programme of Learning Groups in 2018.  Annual membership provides access to all groups, subject to the availability of places.  Note that some groups incur small charges for venue hire, materials etc.

Click for the latest version of the detailed 2018 Programme (PDF), which shows the aims, venues, times, co-ordinators, and contact details for each group.  This document is updated with changes as the year progresses.

New groups can be added at any time.  Click for guidelines in setting up a U3A group.

New Groups in 2018
  • Apple iPad
  • Classic Comedy
  • Cryptic Crossword Beginnings 1
  • Cryptic Crossword Beginnings 2
  • Existentialism
  • Writer's Marathon

Established Groups

  • Art Appreciation 1
  • Art Appreciation 2
  • Biography
  • Book Group
  • British Comedy
  • Creative Writing
  • Cryptic Crosswords
  • Cryptic Crossword Challenges
  • Current Affairs
  • For the Love of Plants
  • French Films
  • Historic Documentaries
  • Movies for Enthusiasts
  • Music Appreciation 1
  • Music Appreciation 2
  • New Zealand History
  • Philosophy
  • Poetry
  • Poetry for Pleasure
  • Railway Travel
  • Recording and Broadcasting
  • Science for All
  • Sketching
  • Symposium
  • Travel
  • Video Opera
  • Write Your Memoirs

The groups in action

Some members of the U3A Bookbinding Group busy at their craft

Members of the U3A Philosophy Group in discussion

Members of the U3A Art Group meeting at Taylor-Jensen Fine Arts

Some members of the U3A Sketching Group busy at work


2018 Seminars

The Autumn seminar series will take place on four Wednesday afternoons: May 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th at All Saints Community Centre, Church Street from 2.15- 4.00pm.  The theme is 'How does that sound?'.  Admission will be free thanks to funding from Eastern & Central Community Trust.  Gold coin for tea and biscuits.

Click here to view the seminar flyer.

Contact us

You can contact us for further information by:

Post: U3A Manawatu, PO Box 9076, Palmerston North, 4441
Email:  (Graham Slater)
Phone: 06-355-4278 (Stu Schwartz)

You can join us:

By printing and then mailing the Membership Subscription form.

Membership costs $15 ($25 for a couple) per annum and runs from 1 January to 31 December each year, but you can join at any time. Members receive a free newsletter several times a year in addition to information on the annual learning group programme and seminar series.

Click for the current Membership Subscription form (PDF).

You can send us feedback through any of the above contact channels.

About us

U3A Manawatu Committee 2017-18:

Chairperson/Learning Groups: Carol Phillips
Secretary/Newsletter: Rosemary Krsinich
Treasurer:  Ron Padock
Membership: Larry Haist
Social events: Bev Charlton
Other members:  Cherry Gordon, Stu Schwartz, Graham Slater

Other contributors:
Seminar Coordinator: Margaret Hazelton
Website: Chris Phillips
Promotional displays: Jill Gibson