Phone - Carole 021 401 951

Special Interest Study Groups
More information and sign up (Scroll to bottom of the page)

Special Interest Groups - More information

We are currently running 33 Interest Groups as you will see listed below . We are always happy to receive suggestions for new groups and to hear from people willing to convene.  (Scroll down the page to register your interest in a group)


Just to clarify – a convenor does NOT have to be a subject expert.  A convenor is an organiser, you get people together and everyone works out what the group is going to look like and do a brief reporting back for the newsletter.  You may not know a lot about the subject, but want to know – which is great, you can learn along with your other group members.

Size of special interest study groups

Indoor groups will be limited by the size that will comfortably fit into peoples homes.  Your group may decide to rotate where you meet, or always meet at one home, or somewhere else. Outdoor groups can be as big as you like.

We have set up a form below for you to update your interests or to fill in the form to show what you are interested in.  Without a convenor, people will have to go on a waiting list – so please think about convening a group. Remember spaces will fill up quickly, so it’s a matter of first in.

Groups with members but no Convenors - if you are interested in joining AND in particular if you are available to convene - please let us know at


Members interested

British History






Horse Racing/Genetics/Breeding


Groups with vacancies, if you are interested, email us at and we will put you in touch.

NZ Birds

Astronomy (to be formed)



Art History 3


Recorder Playing



Cities of the world (a deep dive into the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities)

Groups that are full - but you can always set up another group, and there may be vacancies, let us know if you want to set up another one - or if you want to go on a waitlist.  Email us at

Art History 1 

Book Group 1 

Current Affairs 1 

Art History 2

Book Group 2

Current Affairs 2

Bridges of the World

Film Appreciation 1 

 Genealogy 1

Film Appreciation 2

Genealogy 2

Memoir Writing

Music 1 

Philosophy 1

Recorder Playing

Music 2

Op Shopping

Te Reo 1


Remember, new groups can be formed at any time.  Some of these will have to be defined more, which can be done when you get together (eg what kind of music, what kind of art?)

How do Special Interest Groups Work?

Special Interest Study Groups are for the participants to work together to learn about a shared interest or passion.  They will all work differently, depending on what the participants want to do.

You choose:

  1. What will you study? (History in total or only one century of history?)
  2. When you meet? (Fortnightly, Monthly?)
  3. How long you will meet for? 6 weeks or ongoing until you are all sick of it! For example a Pottery group led by a skilled potter might be a 6 week course?
  4. How will you find out your information? Google? Ted Talks? Library? Books? DVD's? Online TV documentaries? University Library? specialist resources?
  5. How will you report back to the group? Each person have a little bit to do on a topic and report back each time, or a different person report each meeting?

There will be many other things that you will decide as a group.  How many people, will it cost money (probably not, but a pottery course will for materials, use of a kiln).

The convenor (see article above) does not need to be a specialist in the topic, they are an organiser who gets everyone together to start with and may delegate to others to organise meetings, but reports back to the newsletter writer.

For more information, check out the page that Lyndall has put together on how a special interest study group might work here.

Sign up for special interest groups now (places are filling up quickly)

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Thank you for registering your interest in participating in a special interest study group. As these are small groups they will be sorted out on a first in basis and waiting lists will be maintained until we have additional convenors to run additional groups.


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