Chris Barry has studied nutrition at Northcote College, pottery at Henderson, carpentry and car maintenance in Hamilton and Orewa, and has just finished a computing course at Auckland University of Technology.

All of them are threatened by planned cuts in adult education.

Ms Barry, an artist, is so passionate about adult learning that she has made 10 two-metre-sized pairs of scissors that she and other members of West Auckland's unemployed Jobseekers Network will carry in a march against the cuts starting at Auckland's Myers Park at noon tomorrow.

"I've moved around Auckland a lot, and I love the fact that when I shift into a community the options are there. It knits the community together," she said.

Jobseekers Network co-ordinator Linda Brett, a sales and marketing agent until work dried up last year, has taken courses at Rutherford College this year on starting an internet business and how to "write right".

"I'm still wanting to work on both those areas. But if you try to do either of those courses privately it would cost you a minimum of $700-$800 for the web one and the other one probably $500."

Rutherford charged $55, but its adult education co-ordinator Andrea Cameron said that would treble next year if the funding cuts went ahead. Even courses at facilities such as AUT would be hit by more cuts in 2011.

Courses with higher materials costs, such as pottery, cost $145 for eight nights. Pottery student Ruth Keir said she could not afford to pay three times that.

"I've done woodwork, fabric dyeing, bread making, slip-cast pottery and a photography course when I got my new camera," she said.

"It goes to other things. I made a lot of little animals [in pottery]. When I started I thought, 'I can't make those shapes.' By the time I finished, something in my brain clicked and I thought, 'If I can do this, I can do anything I put my mind to'."

Her tutor, Raewyn McKnight, started as a student and now earns a modest living by teaching pottery on Tuesday nights and slipcasting on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

"I started when my son was a baby. My mother-in-law decided to shout me something to get me out from being with the baby all the time," she said.

"Now I love it. It's the people. There's a lot of lonely people out there who come to our classes. They get friendship, they make some great presents, they get self-esteem.

"Some of my students say, 'I haven't got an artistic bone in my body.' Once I show them how to do it, they find they actually have got an artistic bone, and they are just elated."