NZSL Board members

The current NZSL Board members are:

Rhian Yates

A headshot of Rhian

Mr Yates, as a parent of two Deaf children currently in the education sector, Rhian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Deaf community. Rhian, based in Huntly, is actively involved in the Deaf community with experience of Deaf Education and Deaf sports groups.  He played a part in New Zealand Sign Language Week. 

(Re- Appointment effective from 1 August 2021 for a three-year term)

David McKee

A headshot of David

Dr McKee is a recognised expert in NZSL and worked as the Research Director of the Deaf Studies Research Unit at Victoria University of Wellington until his recent retirement. He has extensive governance experience, including serving on the combined Board of the Deaf Education Centres and as chairperson of Deaf Aotearoa Holdings Limited. He was nominated by Deaf Aotearoa to be on the NZSL Board. (Appointment effective from 1 July 2021 for a three-year term)


Catherine Greenwood

A headshot of Catherine

Working as an independent contractor, Catherine has a wealth of experience across the Deaf and hearing communities, with a history of participation in a range of organisations, including Auckland Deaf Society and early childhood providers for her children. She is currently completing her Masters in Language & Culture at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). Catherine brings a strong knowledge of the challenges children face accessing and learning NZSL, linguistics, language planning and policies.

(Re-Appointment effective from 1 July 2022 for a three-year term)

Rachel Turner

A headshot of Rachel

Rachel is actively involved in the Deaf community, been involved in Māori Deaf community activities for many years, including contributing to the first national hui for Rangatahi Māori Deaf. She is passionate about providing access to culture and identity for Māori Deaf community members. Rachel brings to the Board experience working as a NZSL teacher for over twenty years.

(Re- Appointment effective from 1 July 2022 for a three-year term)

Joanne Becker

A headshot of Joanne

Joanne has a broad knowledge of how Government operates due to being a public servant. She has been involved in the Deaf community for many years including committee work for different groups.  As a Board member she has a great understanding of issues and barriers the Deaf community face to support NZSL Board decisions.

(Appointment effective from 1 July 2022 for a three-year term)

Jaime Brown

A headshot of Jaime

Jaime is hearing and brings both personal and professional experience form the Deaf Community.  With ten years’ experience as a NZSL teacher and now a qualified NZSL interpreter. She previously owned a business that provided NZSL teaching services and demonstrates strong partnership and collaboration with Deaf people/organisations.  Jaime has a strong focus and drive to make information and services accessible in NZSL.

(Appointment effective from 1 July 2022 for a three-year term)

Karen Pointon

A headshot of Karen

Karen is Deaf and has been involved in the Deaf community for many years and brings a wealth of community experience to the Board. She has a long history of involvement in the Deaf community and in particular the Māori Deaf community and brings a strong commitment to bridging the gaps that currently exist for Māori Deaf to access their identity and culture.

(Appointment effective from 1 July 2022 for a three-year term)


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NZSL Board meeting summaries



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