The range of community education courses in Whangarei backs up the old adage about life-long learning - if you're not learning, you're not living.

Woodwork, art, languages, computing and cooking were once the meat and potatoes of night school classes but the menu Community Education Whangarei (CEW) at Kamo High School now serves up is an exotic feast.

Bread and cheese making, Indian, Thai, Chinese and Middle Eastern cookery are among the regular cuisine classes. New to the cultural curriculum are Bollywood Dance, Kendo Japanese Fencing and Rongoa Maori Medicine.

Coordinator Shona Hall said vocational and recreational courses in the Winter Programme 2016 reflect the diversity of interests in the community and the range of skills that can be shared. Courses include a mix of both traditional evening classes and weekend workshops.


"The computer classes are helpful for those in the job market wanting to learn new programmes, for businesses wanting to re-train staff or for people simply wanting to learn how to use the range of free software that is available online," Ms Hall said.

Garden design, how to buy or sell a house and organic growing are among the current choices.

The Embody Love workshop aims to explore - possibly explode - the beauty myth and "change the conversation from criticism to kindness".

Mindful Eating, another from the General Interest menu, also reinforces the 'be kind to yourself and grow' message, as do Infinite Possibilities and Brain Fit for Life.

Art and craft classes include painting poppies, painting fantails, painting with pallette knives, making soap or making mosaics on terracotta pots.

Subjects on writing range from penning personal life stories to poetry appreciation.

Language students can learn to say how worthwhile it has been in French, Mandarin, Spanish or Te Reo. CEW strives to keep costs as low as possible, Ms Hill said.

Information is available at Whangarei libraries, online at, CEWhangarei Facebook or at Kamo High School.