Deaf cultures and Sign Languages of the world: New Zealand (Aotearoa)

Created 10 April 2000, links updated monthly with the help of LinkAlarm.

New Zealand flag David Bar-TzurNew Zealand flag

map of New Zealand

Flag: World flag database.
Map: Maps.com - "search" for country, then "Digital Map Graphics").

For a quick, interesting resource for facts about this and other countries,
try Mystic Planet - The New Age directory of Planet Earth.

Note: A flag next to a link shows what language the website is in. If it is followed by this icon: (video camera: This links to a video), it is a video in that spoken language. A flag followed by Sign Language iconmeans it is in the sign language of that country. globe (international icon)Sign Language iconmeans there is International Gesture.

Assistive living devices Deaf Blind Deaf culture Deaf education Deaf film
Deaf health Deaf history and current events Deaf sports & recreation Deafness and the law General interpreting issues
Interpreter education Mailing lists New Zealand Sign Language New Zealand Sign Language dictionaries Organizations
Religion & Deafness

Assistive living devices

DeafQuip is committed to providing innovative electronic products for Deaf & hearing impaired people. We've gone through some major changes recently. You'll notice some changes in our product range too. We'll be able to offer you a more streamlined service from the time you make your order to final delivery.

Flashing lights for the home.

Deafblind

Deaf culture

Deaf Studies Research Unit. Research on the lexicon and grammar of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is ongoing in the DSRU. Other likely areas for future research in the DSRU include: the use of NZSL amongst Deaf people, linguistic structures of NZSL, curriculum development for the teaching of NZSL, the community and culture of Deaf people in New Zealand, the language development and education of deaf children. The School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies welcomes applications for post-graduate study from students with appropriate academic backgrounds who wish to conduct thesis research in the area of Deaf Studies.

Discovering Deaf worlds - New Zealand.

International Bibliography of Sign Language - New Zealand.

Victoria of Wellington - School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies.

Deaf education

DEAFintely Youth Group is an organisational group that was started up for the Asia Pacific camp in 2002. With the successful camp well past us, we are mainly a group that aims to MOTIVATE, ENCOURAGE and CONNECT other deaf youths all over Auckland through organising informational and fun activities.

Deaf Studies Research Unit. Research on the lexicon and grammar of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is ongoing in the DSRU. Other likely areas for future research in the DSRU include: the use of NZSL amongst Deaf people, linguistic structures of NZSL, curriculum development for the teaching of NZSL, the community and culture of Deaf people in New Zealand, the language development and education of deaf children. The School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies welcomes applications for post-graduate study from students with appropriate academic backgrounds who wish to conduct thesis research in the area of Deaf Studies.

Kelston Deaf Education Centre provides services to deaf and hearing impaired students throughout New Zealand's upper North Island. alternate URL.

Locker McKee, R.

golden marble bulletPeople of the eye. Seventeen deaf New Zealanders talk about living without hearing in a society, which rarely makes provision for their special needs.

golden marble bullet& McKee, D. "Bilingualism and identity in Deaf communities", M. Metzger (Ed.) from Name signs and identity in New Zealand Sign Language.

National Foundation for the Deaf website.

Van Asch Deaf Education Centre was opened in March 1880 and was the first fully government funded school for the Deaf in the world. Situated in the valley of the seaside suburb of Sumner, van Asch is 15 kilometers from the centre of Christchurch, New Zealand. Originally called Sumner School for the Deaf it was renamed in 1995 after its first Principal Gerrit van Asch. The base school at van Asch offers primary, middle and senior high school programmes for both day and residential students. Between 35-40 students attend the base school: Approximately half of these students are in the Centre's residences. The Center employs 48 Itinerant Teachers of the Deaf in the central and southern regions of New Zealand to provide services for deaf and hearing-impaired students in mainstream settings. Part-time hours are provided for between 50 and 60 deaf and hearing-impaired students in remote areas who are unable to access itinerant teachers of the deaf services.

Deaf film

The Deaf Short Film Competition.

Deaf health

Hearing Association of New Zealand.

Richmond New Zealand's Deaf Mental Health Service aims to meet the needs of people who are deaf and who have an unmet mental health requirement. The service was developed to increase access to mental health services for deaf clients, with a key focus on improving communication with medical professionals. This service is currently provided in Auckland and Wellington.

Deaf history and current events

DeafTODAY.

golden marble bullet(2005, February 14). Deaf boaties' drama shows value of texting. Coastguard staff members used text messages to find some deaf people whose boat had broken down on the Kaipara Harbour. The informant gave out cellphone numbers of those on board, and by text message the Coastguard was able to establish that the boat was being towed to shore after those on board flagged down a passing charter vessel.

golden marble bullet(2004, July 20). Deaf get teletype service after a nine-year battle. Relay cost will be shared by telcos. The information "divide" closed a little last week with the introduction of teletype translation of telephone calls for deaf and partially hearing people, after a nine-year battle calling on the aid of the Human Rights Commission. The service will be free and has been ranked as a Telecommunications Service Obligation (TSO), so its costs will be shared among New Zealand's telcos.

golden marble bullet(2004, November 16). Phone calls made easier for the deaf. The launch of a new communication system will make phone calls easier for the deaf, the hard of hearing and those with a speech disability. Students and staff of Van Asch College participated in the launch of NZ Relay with a call to Parliament, where about 200 people watched the message on a large screen.

golden marble bullet(2004, November 15). New Zealand Relay Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Now Available From Sprint. Beginning Nov. 15, 2004, New Zealand Relay (NZ Relay) services will be available from Sprint (NYSE: FON) for individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech-disabled in New Zealand. In July, the New Zealand Associate Communications Minister David Cunliffe and Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson announced that Sprint was chosen to provide NZ Relay and to manage the government-subsidized pool of relay equipment for customers known as textphones.

golden marble bullet(2004, September 22). Go-getter jumps hurdle of deafness. Mastering Mandarin with 80 per cent hearing loss is just one of Daniel Carruthers' many achievements... Mr Carruthers is the winner of the inaugural Quest For Excellence Scholarship from the National Foundation for the Deaf. He received the award at a ceremony in Auckland on Monday to launch Deaf Awareness Week next week.

golden marble bullet(2004, July 20). 'Devastated' to lose deaf service contract – NZ firm. A New Zealand company that prepared a bid for the teletype relay service for the country's hearing and speech impaired is "devastated" to have lost out to US telecommunications giant Sprint. A government subsidy for a teletype service was promised last year after a hard-fought campaign by New Zealand's community of potential users.

golden marble bullet(2004, July 16). Deaf foundation welcomes new telecoms service. The National Foundation for the Deaf yesterday welcomed the introduction of a telecommunications service for deaf and hearing impaired people. The service, provided by Sprint International New Zealand, is scheduled to start in November and works with an intermediary assistant relaying phone calls between a hearing or speech impaired person and a hearing person.

golden marble bullet(2004, July 14). American firm picks up NZ deaf-relay deal. US telco giant Sprint has won the tender for New Zealand's telecommunications relay service for deaf and hard-of-hearing customers.

golden marble bullet(2004, July 13). Phone service for deaf. A telecommunications service for deaf and hearing-impaired people was on track to start in November, Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson said yesterday. The Government said an agreement had been negotiated with Sprint International New Zealand to supply the service for deaf, hearing-impaired and speech-impaired people.

golden marble bullet(2004, July 12). New Zealand Selects Sprint for Relay Services for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. New Zealand Associate Communications Minister David Cunliffe and Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson today announced that Sprint (NYSE: FON) has been chosen to provide the telecommunications relay service (TRS) and to manage the government subsidized pool of TRS user equipment known as textphones.

golden marble bullet(2004, June 28). Scholarship To Encourage Deaf And Hearing Impaired. Deaf or hearing impaired undergraduates with extraordinary potential, vision or purpose have the chance to pursue their dreams through the Quest for Excellence Scholarship launched this month by the National Foundation for the Deaf and the Deaf Association of New Zealand.

golden marble bullet(2004, June 22). Sign language on way to becoming official language. Parliament banded together today to take the first step in making New Zealand sign language an official language. The New Zealand Sign Language Bill passed unanimously before a public gallery packed with those it will impact upon most – the deaf and hearing impaired.

golden marble bullet(2004, June 22). New Zealand Sign Language Bill first reading. Mr. Speaker, I move that the New Zealand Sign Language Bill now be read a first time. At the appropriate time I intend to move that the Bill be referred to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee.

golden marble bullet(2004, April 4). Giving the finger to un-PC sign language. It's a sign of the times - politically incorrect sign language is being given the thumbs down. Traditional signs used by deaf people to signify ethnic and religious groups are being dropped because they're now considered offensive.

golden marble bullet(2004, April 4). Changes in sign language for deaf. Deaf people are the latest to be dragged into the world of political correctness. Sign language has been forced to evolve with the times to introduce what are described as some more appropriate signs to describe various ethnic groups.

golden marble bullet(2003, December 26). Coroner calls for change. A coroner is urging passenger transport operators to improve their services for the disabled after the death of a deaf American tourist in a train accident at Kaikoura... William Robert Miller... was killed after he slipped and fell while trying to board the Christchurch to Picton train leaving the Kaikoura railway station on March 28 this year. Passengers had been told not to get off the train when it pulled into the station because it was only a short stop.

golden marble bullet(2003, Dec 5). Student communicates through art. Marc Peyroux cannot hear or speak, but has found an artful means of communicating. The 23-year-old Dunedin man is graduating from Otago Polytechnic today with a bachelor of fine arts in photography and is believed to be the first deaf New Zealand student to graduate with a photography major.

golden marble bullet(2003, November 24). New website helps deaf and hearing impaired. The National Foundation for the Deaf has launched a new website. The site (www.nfd.org.nz) provides support, information and advice for the deaf and those concerned about hearing loss. The website features a customised search that locates helpful organisations by area.

golden marble bullet(2003, November 10). Passenger transport firms ignoring needs of deaf - inquest told. The criticism comes in the wake of the death of an American tourist, who was killed in a train accident in Kaikoura earlier this year.

golden marble bullet(2003, October 24). Government to recognise NZ Sign Language. The government has signalled its intention to recognise New Zealand Sign Language as the third official language of New Zealand... Minister for Disability Issues Ruth Dyson says the purpose of official recognition is to acknowledge Deaf people's language as a unique New Zealand language and give it equal status to that of spoken languages.

golden marble bullet(2003, October 24). Third official language to be introduced. New Zealand sign language is set to become our third official language. Disability Issues Minister Ruth Dyson says the purpose of official recognition is to acknowledge deaf people's language as a unique New Zealand language.

golden marble bullet(2003, October 5). Captioned movies one more tick on the list. As captioned movies start screening in Auckland and Christchurch this weekend, it's another goal ticked off by Deaf campaigner Kim Robinson. The lobbyist last year saw the successful end to an eight-year campaign to force the telecommunications industry to commit to providing a phone relay service for the Deaf, hearing-impaired and speech-impaired, and next on his list is television subtitles, with political funding further down the line.

golden marble bullet(2003, September 27). Deaf to get captions on top films. Captioned movies targeted at the deaf and hearing-impaired will be launched in New Zealand next week. The Human Rights Commission said the films would begin on October 2 at a theatre in both Auckland and Christchurch, and then tour 11 other centres around the country. One new movie will go on the circuit every month.

golden marble bullet(2003, April 22). Deaf relay in English only, says government. The Government has backed down over the introduction of a telecommunications relay service for the deaf and speech impaired, assuring the telco industry that it will not have to wear the cost of adapting the service for the Maori language.

golden marble bullet(2003, March 27). American tourist killed after falling under train. An elderly American tourist was killed when he fell under a passenger train at the Kaikoura railway station this morning. Constable Arnold Witteveen of Kaikoura police said that when the train pulled into the station, passengers were told not to leave the station as it was a short stop only. It was thought the man, who was hearing impaired, did not hear that.

golden marble bullet(2003, March 27). Deafness major problem in Northland schools. Hundreds of Northland schoolchildren cannot hear properly when they start school, leaving them facing serious education and social problems. More than 15 per cent of new entrants at Northland schools fail a basic hearing test, according to Ministry of Health figures.

Deaf sports & recreation

New Zealand Deaf Rugby Union.

Deafness and the law

Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand. New Zealand Sign Language Bill. On behalf of the Green Party I'd like to say how delighted we are to see this bill finally back before the House. It seems like a long time since we first debated this bill back in June 2004 - nearly two whole years - and I'm sorry the processes of Parliament and the election have intervened to so seriously slow it down. I'm just glad this Government is sufficiently committed to disability issues to make sure we're now dealing with this bill as a matter of priority.

New Zealand Sign Language Bill.

Office for Disability Issues. New Zealand Sign Language videos.New Zealand flagSign Language iconThere are seven video clips of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) on this page with information about disability issues and the NZSL Bill.

General interpreting issues

KiwiCareers - Interpreter.

The Late Night Weather 27th September [2007]. The Weather Angels honour deaf awareness week. [Webmaster: Dressing appropriately for the setting?]

General interpreting issues

WASLI. Scenes from Segovia. There are two levels of membership for our members, ordinary members and graduate members. In NZ there are three languages at work, and therefore there are some interpreters who can work trilingually. Our goal is to work more closely with the Deaf community and develop our structure so that it can incorporate a PDP. Most importantly in 2006 Sign Language was recognised not only as a language but an indigenous language!

Interpreter education

Languages at AUT. The School of Languages offers programmes in English Studies, Japanese, Chinese, New Zealand Sign Language, Spanish, Translation and Interpreting and Intercultural Competence.

Mailing lists

nzsl_interpreters. This forum is for practising or future New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpreters, and also other stakeholders in our young profession. If you have questions or scenarios you'd like to pose (social, linguistic, political, ethical, etc), then here is a place you can do that. We only ask that disuccsion here remains relevant to interpreters and interpreting.

New Zealand Sign Language

Bar-Tzur, D. Indigenous signs for cities: New Zealand.

Deaf Studies Research Unit. Research on the lexicon and grammar of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) is ongoing in the DSRU. Other likely areas for future research in the DSRU include: the use of NZSL amongst Deaf people, linguistic structures of NZSL, curriculum development for the teaching of NZSL, the community and culture of Deaf people in New Zealand, the language development and education of deaf children. The School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies welcomes applications for post-graduate study from students with appropriate academic backgrounds who wish to conduct thesis research in the area of Deaf Studies.

International bibliography of sign language - New Zealand Sign Language.

Interpreting Tidbits: New Zealand Sign Language.New Zealand flagSign Language iconThe world keeps getting smaller. This introductory video for New Zealand Sign Language was created as a basic instructional video to introduce this unique language to the people unfamiliar with NZSL

New Zealand Sign Language: A language of New Zealand.

Smith, K. (2004, April 4). Giving the finger to un-PC sign language. It's a sign of the times - politically incorrect sign language is being given the thumbs down. Traditional signs used by deaf people to signify ethnic and religious groups are being dropped because they're now considered offensive. Signs on the way out include: A two-handed gesture indicating big, fuzzy hair for the words Fiji or Fijian; Eyes being pulled into a slant for the words China or Chinese; A limp wrist, indicating a gay person.

van Asch Education Centre. NZSL / Deaf Studies Subsite - overview.

Victoria of Wellington - School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies.

New Zealand Sign Language dictionaries

A dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language. Book review.

International bibliography of sign language - New Zealand Sign Language dictionary.

stained glass bulletKennedy, G. (August 31, 2002). A concise dictionary of New Zeland Sign Language. [book review] Bridget Williams Books; ISBN-10: 187724211X, ISBN-13: 978-1877242113. This resource serves as the essential guide to the language for the deaf as well as for students, parents, and teachers. Approximately 2500 commonly used signs are accompanied by drawings that are easy to follow and the guide's new layout makes the structure of the language clear. Additional learning tools are provided in the introduction.

New Zealand Sign Language Tutors Association (NZSLTA) is a national professional organisation for New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Tutors throughout New Zealand. NZSLTA has organised workshops and conferences for tutors so they can fine-tune their teaching skills and develop materials and resources for NZSL classes. Newsletters are also produced three times a year to give information on current issues of sign language teaching.

NZSL dictionary.

NZSL.net - NZ sign resources online.

SignPuddle. Dictionary New Zealand.

van Asch Education Centre. New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Signs.

Organizations

Government implementation of the standard rules as seen by member organizations of World Federation of the Deaf - Deaf Association of New Zealand, New Zealand.

Hearing Association of New Zealand.

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People New Zealand. Specfially trained Hearing Dogs provide valuable services to deaf and hearing-impaired people in much the same way as guide dogs for blind people. In 1998 Hearing Dogs for Deaf People New Zealand was formally established and incorporated as a charitable trust. Previously no organisation for training and placing these dogs existed in New Zealand. Hearing Dogs for Deaf People have the same access rights as Guide Dogs for the blind - they are allowed into all public places, including food premises.

The National Foundation for the Deaf website.

New Zealand Deaf Societies.

Sign Language Interpreters Association of New Zealand. The profession has grown steadily, yet the slimness of this Directory reflects a profession that is still emerging. The profession has advanced quickly in New Zealand, benefiting from professional models developed overseas. Nevertheless, challenges remain in meeting the level of demand for interpreting services, and in increasing consumer understanding about the role and usefulness of interpreters as professionals who are trained to facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people.

Religion & Deafness

Auckland Deaf Christian Fellowship.

Scoop: Firm friends help Auckland deaf. In addition to weekly Bible education classes, they also run sign language classes for members in Avondale and in Takanini who are interested in learning to sign, where they have around 20 attend each class. The group also makes good use of modern technology – such as using portable computers and DVD’s translated into NZSL to share their beliefs with deaf in the greater Auckland area from Albany to Pukekohe.

The Deaf Association of New Zealand (Te Ropu Turi o Aoteatroa). national flag The Association is unique in the fact that its governing body is ruled by elected Deaf members of the Deaf community. It is also the only nationwide provider of services to Deaf people.

Video interpreting

Deaf Consultantcy & Communication Services.

Deaf-Link.

New Zealand Relay. Telecommunication services for people who are deaf, hearing-impaired, deaf-blind, or speech-impaired.

Young, H. (1993). Deaf viewers ask for a hand.

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