The University of the Third Age

U3A Okeover

Programme for Term 2, 2022

A Making Christchurch a National Park City (NPC)

Dates: Thursdays 26 May, 2, 9, 16, 23 June

B History

Dates: Thursdays 7, 14, 21, 28 July, 4 August

Times: 10.30 a.m. - 11.30 a.m.

Enrolments for this term closed on Thursday 04 Aug 2022.


Chairman:Peter Moody3517448
Secretary:Yvonne Evans027 4766531
Treasurer:Colin Freeman027 2369476
Please hand your enrolment form to the treasurer at the desk.

Course A

Making Christchurch a National Park City (NPC)

Course organiser:Chris Botur


Since London disruptively declared itself a National Park City, and subsequently led the formation of a charter that laid out criteria for achieving such status, we have endeavoured to promote the notion that our city could lead the stampede to demonstrate the greenness of cities all over the country. The world is facing multiple emergencies, many of which are broadly ecologically based. Our argument is that connecting people to nature, rather than viewing it as something ‘exotic’ that belongs in remote mountainous parks where only a few privileged get to experience it, is vital to a future understanding of nature (ecological literacy), creates identity with our special biodiversity and a conservation ethic, and broadly creates well-being that is based on values more enduring than the purely material. There have been discussions around the country and Bay of Plenty has declared a national park region (Waiariki Park Region). It is clear that this must be a partnership with mana whenua, with a suitable name, that it takes in the greater Christchurch boundary, and that it is used to engage with and market the rich natural bounty of the city. We have compiled a list of over 15 attributes that demonstrate our credentials to justify our claim to this status. We note the important role of The Press in being an early champion for this campaign, and the variations on this movement – Biophilic Cities, Nature Needs Half, urban wild, etc. We need to be part of this action – indeed be a leader – in turning our city, the country, indeed the world from its current perilous trajectory.

26 May:
Colin Meurk, ONZM, Canterbury and Lincoln Universities and Manaaki Whenua - Landcare Research, on 'Ōtautahi-Christchurch – a National Park City' and Hayley Guglietta, Avon Ōtākaro Network Manager, on 'Avon Otakaro River Corridor Regeneration Plan'.Colin will Introduce the overall concept of the NPC. Hayley will then give a brief update on how we got to this place today and AvON’s role and how this regeneration plan if executed well will be a world class exemplar on combating climate change and managed retreat.

2 Jun:
Penny Carnaby, Chair, Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, on 'Banks Peninsula, the Lungs of Ōtautahi: Helping Biodiversity to Flourish and Thrive and Suky Thompson, Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust Manager, on 'Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust - Enhancing Low-carbon Recreation in tandem with Biodiversity on the City Doorstep'.Penny will talk about how local landowners, conservation organisations, and local body and government agencies, are working together to protect and help native biodiversity to recover and thrive on all parts of Banks Peninsula/ Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū, the CCC Ōutautahi Climate Resilience strategy 2021 and to the vision of Christchurch becoming a NPC. Rod Donald Banks Peninsula Trust has a vision to develop environmental guardians of the future through improved public access, enhancing biodiversity, promoting knowledge and working in partnership with others. Suky Thompson will introduce the Trust and describe some of its many successful projects. The Trust’s “Buy the Hill” campaign run last year in conjunction with The Press and Stuff boosted its profile and is the best known example of its multi-faceted work.

9 Jun:
Kamala Hayman, Editor, The Press and Stuff Canterbury, on 'Forever Trees with The Press' and Colin Meurk, on 'The Christchurch 360 Trail – Te Ara Otautahi? – First Urban Great Walk for NZ’s first National Park City'.Project Crimson's Trees That Count has donated 10,000 to the NPC initiative. Learn more about where they will be planted and how you can be involved. Colin Meurk will talk about The Christchurch 360 Trail which he founded. It encircles the city of Christchurch, showcasing the diversity of the city: flora, fauna, history, architecture and culture. He intends to whet your appetite, through a quick-fire montage of images capturing sweeping panoramas to intimate detail of orchids and damselflies.

16 Jun:
Ian McLennan, Chair, Ōtamahua/Quail Island Ecological Restoration Trust, on 'Ōtamahua/Quail Island - 23 Years of Ecological Restoration'.Ian will talk about the ecological restoration project and the history of the island.

23 Jun:
Eric Pawson, Emeritus Prof., School of Earth and Environment, UC on 'The Contribution of the Waitākairi Eco-sanctuary Trust to Making Christchurch a National Park City' and Hannah Duder, Project Manager, Christchurch Foundation, on 'The Great Tūī Comeback'.Eric will describe the activities of the Waitākiri Eco-sanctuary Trust, its vision to establish a fenced sanctuary in the Burwood part of the residential red zone adjacent to the existing wildlife refuge at Travis Wetland, its likely effect on the wider urban area, based on the impacts of fenced ecosanctuaries elsewhere, and how this initiative will complement not only the NPC but also play a role nationally. Hannah will talk about the Tūī Corridor project whose goal is to establish a corridor of tūī friendly vegetation between the Port Hills and the central city. - the first project to be rolled out under the ‘Stronger, Greener Christchurch’ programme. The programme aims to make greater Ōtautahi Christchurch a better place to live through renewable energy and sustainability initiatives.

Course B


Course organiser:Peter Moody


Since the government announced there would be a new history curriculum taught in schools in 2023 there has been a renewed interest in New Zealand history. This course explores a few of the lesser known aspects of our history.

7 Jul:
Danielle Campbell, Deputy Director of the Ashburton Art Gallery and Museum and has previously worked in a range of archives, heritage, research and curatorial-based roles on 'Museums and their Role in Preserving History (and Beyond).'Her presentation will examine the role of museums in not only preserving history, but collecting, conserving, cataloguing, digitising and interpreting history. It will also cover the ways in which museums are attempting to make their collections more accessible.

14 Jul:
Nigel Murphy on 'Scotsmen and Chinamen: the History of Dunedin and the Chinese in Otago in the Nineteenth Century'.Nigel Murphy is an historian whose interests include the history of Chinese in New Zealand. He has published and lectured widely on this topic and is the author of “The poll tax in New Zealand: a research report.” Most of his career was spent as a librarian at the Alexander Turnbull Library and as a writer at the Waitangi Tribunal. His talk will cover the establishment of Dunedin as a commercial centre, as the most important city in New Zealand prior to 1865, the history and impact of the arrival of the Chinese in Dunedin and Otago, the reasons for government imposing a poll tax on Chinese immigrants and the impact and effect of the poll tax on the Otago Chinese population. It will also discuss the Dunedin Chinese Garden built to coincide with Dunedin’s 150th anniversary, and how the garden fits into the story of Dunedin and its history.

21 Jul:
Frieda Looser, formerly Senior Tutor in the History Dept., UC, tutoring and lecturing in a number of courses, and currently teaching in the UC Academic Skills Centre, on 'The Importance of History and Why it Should Be Taught in Our Schools'.History is essential for self-identity. From first words to final breath, a person’s life, language and culture reflect their personal history, embedded in nation and community. The histories of heritage, family and whakapapa are learned and taught to the rising generation by elders, caregivers and kaiako. Understandings and perspectives of history are not static but adapt with the novel experiences of each generation in response to new knowledge and social awareness. This talk will discuss the significance of History and the teaching of histories in school.

28 Jul:
Dr. Serena Kelly, Sen. Lecturer, The Politics of the European Union, UC and Deputy Director, National Centre for Research on Europe, on 'New Zealand, the EU and Brexit: A Timeline'.This presentation will examine New Zealand’s close colonial history with the United Kingdom and how this has impacted New Zealand’s relationship with the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Union (EU).

4 Aug:
Col. Colin Richardson, MSM (Ca) on 'New Zealand Defence Force'.The talk will deal briefly with the major developments and shifts that have occurred in the NZ Army's purpose, organistion, command and equipment over its 175 year history. These will relate to the key conflicts and tasks undertaken by the Army, but these will not be discussed themselves. The discussion will conclude with a description of the NZ Army Project 200, which is the Bi-Centennial project that Army is undertaking to capture and write its history.