Taruna was originally the home of two friends, Ruth Nelson and Edna Burbury, who were both involved in the early development of the Anthroposophical Society in New Zealand from the 1920s.
The homestead was built after the previous house was destroyed during the great earthquake of 3 February 1931. The ladies were fortunate to be out in the garden at the time. For many years Taruna was the venue for summer Conferences of the Anthroposophical Society and a centre for study groups.
After the ladies’ deaths in the late 1970s Taruna was bequeathed as a Centre for Anthroposophical Adult Education and Training founded on the work of Rudolf Steiner [1861 – 1925].
There have been full-time programmes running since 1982 starting with the Teachers’ Course, followed by the Biodynamic Agriculture Course in 1990, the Kindergarten and Early Childhood course in 1993 and the Artistic Therapy Course in 1995. The Graduate Diploma in Anthroposophical Nursing and the Advanced Certificate in Anthroposophical Health Studies started in 2002, and the Certificate in Art of Health (Anthroposophical Studies) began in 2004. In 2005 the seminar based Certificate in Applied Organics and Biodynamics started. In 2009 the Certificate in Rudolf Steiner Education and Certificate in Holistic Healthcare programmes began.