Community Education Whanganui is planning an exciting range of courses and workshops for 2018, aimed at getting more of the community involved.

Manager Sian MacGibbon said the organisation, which provides short courses and workshops to adults, was partnering with other organisations and businesses to provide some more unusual offerings for 2018.

"We'll still have the core courses such as music and arts, but also some more specialist workshops and courses," Mrs MacGibbon said.

These include courses on subjects as diverse as beer brewing, wine-tasting, family history, a decluttering workshop and a Mexican cooking class.


Mrs MacGibbon said Community Education also plans to bring Socrates' Cafe to Whanganui - the first in New Zealand.

"Socrates' Cafe is a get-together for people who want to discuss philosophical ideas. It's a bit like a debate, with a moderator, but it's just about discussing ideas rather than debating them.

"Socrates' Cafe is a worldwide event. There are a few in Australia, but none in New Zealand."

She said it will most likely take place during the day, and if it proves popular an evening one would be added.

Some of the organisations Community Education will be collaborating with include Brewers World, Liquorland, the Genealogy Society and Whanganui UCOL's culinary school.

Chef and tutor Gina Guigou said she was organising a specialist Mexican chef from Wellington to teach a workshop through Community Education.

Bruce Jellyman has been teaching ukulele classes and the Anything Goes Orchestra through Community Education for about 10 years.

"We have such a variety of ages and backgrounds," Mr Jellyman said.

"It's always a strong learning relationship because people are there because they want to be there. They want to gain experience and have fun at the same time."

Juanita Davis and Richard Pedley will be starting as tutors at Community Education Whanganui for the first time in 2018.

Ms Davis will be teaching a beginner raranga (flax weaving) course over six to eight weeks. She has a diploma in Māori art and has taught raranga for the past two years.

Students will learn how to make simple items such as a flower, earrings and a basic basket, then progress to more complex items such as a kete or a hat. Ms Davis specialises in making flax cloaks.

"The first thing the students will learn is the harvest and preparation of the flax. I also teach the proper tikanga (customs) around harvesting, preparing and weaving the flax," Ms Davis said.

Mr Pedley is an organic farmer, and will run a series of workshops around organic farming, including the design, production and management of an organic farm.