5th National Māori Deaf Hui

A national Māori Deaf Hui was held 2-5 June 2017 near Whangarei at Whakapara Marae. There were up to 80 attendees and approximately 64 of them were Māori Deaf. Nearly 50% of the Māori Deaf who attended the hui were young Māori Deaf (rangatahi).
Group photo of participants at 5th National Māori Deaf Hui
Group photo of participants at 5th National Māori Deaf Hui

The NZSL Board contributed $50,000 towards the total cost of the 5th National Māori Deaf Hui. The NZSL Board’s funding supported Māori Deaf people to attend the hui by reducing the costs of travel and registration that may have been barriers for Māori Deaf attendees. Māori Deaf hui attendees travelled from a range of places including Invercargill, Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington, Hamilton, Auckland and Australia.

Deaf Aotearoa provided support and organisational advice to local organisers of the hui.

Most importantly for the NZSL Board, the hui also enabled four NZSL Board representatives (Richard Peri, Kirsten Smiler, Rachel McKee and Victoria Manning) to discuss the NZSL needs and aspirations of the Māori Deaf community. Information was also presented about the purpose of the NZSL Board, its work and, in particular, how the NZSL Board is focused on the NZSL needs of the Māori Deaf community.

This presentation was well received by the Māori Deaf community as there was little knowledge of the existence or activities of the NZSL Board prior to the hui.  

The NZSL Board is in the process of undertaking an annual review of its three-year action plan. It was important for the NZSL Board to obtain information from the Māori Deaf community about their NZSL needs. Hui attendees provided a wide range of ideas and issues for the NZSL Board to consider including access to trilingual interpreters and tikanga Māori through NZSL. The ideas and issues provided by the Māori Deaf community will help guide the NZSL Board’s annual review of the action plan and ensure that the prioritised activities make a positive difference for Māori Deaf.

Participants working at the NZSL Maori Deaf Hui
Participants working at the Hui

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