NZSL Act Review 2011 - Summary of why review was done

An overview of why the NZSL Act Review 2011 was done.

About the New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006

In 2006, the Government made New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) an official language, when the New Zealand Sign Language Act (NZSL Act) was agreed by Parliament.

The NZSL Act made Deaf people’s language, NZSL, equal to English and Māori.

It also did three other things:

  • some Deaf people were allowed to use NZSL in courts
  • government departments should use NZSL when providing information to the public
  • the Minister for Disability Issues was told to review how the NZSL Act was working and write a report to Parliament on it.

You can watch a NZSL explanation of the NZSL Act: New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006

Who is helped by the NZSL Act?

There are about 24,000 New Zealanders who can sign using NZSL. Of these people, there are about 7,000 partly or completely deaf adults who live in households that use NZSL and/or signed English, and about 4,000 people whose main way of communicating is with NZSL.

About this summary

This paper is a summary of the review of the NZSL Act. It has the main things that are talked about in the longer review report done for the Minister for Disability Issues. You can read about how the review was done and what people said.


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