About U3A Kate Sheppard

“Those who teach shall also learn - Those who learn shall also teach”


Our U3A Kate Sheppard group is one of a number of U3A groups active in Christchurch and is part of the world-wide U3A body. While operating as stand-alone organisations, each group works to operate in line with the general principles of the international family of U3A groups.

U3A Kate Sheppard was formed in 2004 by some enthusiastic pioneers. The group initially had 136 Members, 5 ‘silent members’, and 4 on the waiting list. Many of those foundation people are still members today, and over the years have contributed much by being Committee Members and office bearers. Today our Membership has grown to 230.

Unique Characteristics

At its formation in 2004, U3A Kate Sheppard identified the unique characteristics of U3A as:

  • Learning topics are selected by the Members
  • In-depth courses are planned by Members, for Members
  • Opportunities for reading, research and discussion are provided
  • The company of others who enjoy learning is ensured
  • No qualifications required - No examinations - No qualifications given
  • No compulsory activities
  • Costs are minimal

What to expect

At U3A Kate Sheppard we have 7 Series of Lectures a year, each usually comprising 5 weekly lectures sessions, with a one-week interval between Series. Meetings commence with coffee and a chat at 10am, then an address from the President at 10:25, with the day’s lecture from 10:30 for around one hour. Currently we meet at St Christopher’s church 244 Avonhead Road.


Newsletters are emailed to members prior to each Series. Printed copies are mailed to those without email.

Member Lunches

We have 3 all-Member lunches each year, plus a lunch for New Members at the beginning of the year. Our Christmas Luncheon has been at Rossendale, Tai Tapu for some years.

Online Independent Study Courses

Commencing in 2020 we have run a series of Online Independent Study Course. The topic material is selected by Members and is emailed weekly. Courses run to date have included: Genealogy Online, History of Espionage, Climate Change, Writing for Pleasure, Continents on the Move, Train Your Brain, and British Society in the Early 18th Century. 

Our first course for 2021 is China In Transition: From Mao to Now (2011)


We enjoy learning about an extremely wide range of topics. Over the years there have literally been hundreds of fascinating lectures. A small sample is listed; 

  • London: From the Romans to The Fire
  • Matters of the Heart
  • Through the lens of a political Scientist

Interest Groups

Some U3A groups have one or more special interest groups. These can comprise subgroups of members who share a particular interest and want foster this. Examples include; choirs, reading, movies, in fact any topic you can imagine. These subgroups are dependent on their members for their own organising. Kate Sheppard currently has no special interest groups, but is keen to re-introduce its choir which was so successful a few years ago, and to encourage the formation of other special interest groups.


From time to time we have bus trips to places of interest. Those who choose to go pay a fee. We have had trips to the Arts Centre, an automated dairy farm at Greendale, Court Theatre, Lincoln College art tour, Ohinetahi Homestead Governors Bay, Patao Pig Farm Hawarden, The Warehouse Distribution Centre Rolleston, the Community of the Sacred Name, and day trips to Longbeach Estate.


Your annual $60 per person membership covers attendances at all lectures