NZSL Board principles for engagement with Turi Māori

Access to te Ao Māori is critical to the mana, cultural identity, hauora, and socio-economic participation of Turi Māori and their whānau. For Turi Māori, access to te Ao Māori through NZSL and signs for Māori concepts are critical. Access through NZSL is consistent with a range of legislative, regulatory and policy instruments safeguarding and promoting such rights, both implicitly and explicitly, and is a priority item on the NZSL Board’s work programme.

The NZSL Board is committed to improving access to te Ao Māori through NZSL for Turi Māori. Work carried out will be guided by Turi Māori across the motu.  At the same time the Board needs to ensure Turi Māori have the same opportunities as all others in the Deaf community to access and participate in initiatives and projects governed by the NZSL Board.  

 Areas that could be addressed are:

  • Promoting social networking and a sense of kotahitanga between Turi Māori to overcome isolation caused by geographical spread of Turi Māori throughout Aotearoa New Zealand
  • A sense of recognised tūrangawaewae/marae (place of standing) designated for use by Turi Māori in the Deaf world and in their own whānau/hapū/iwi
  • Acknowledging the needs of Turi Māori in the NZSL Strategy
  • Turi Māori contributing to the creations of NZSL for te Reo Māori concepts and resources in a leading role
  • Grow Turi Māori leadership
  • Identify wānanga to develop knowledge of Mātauranga Māori including tikanga and local kawa, te Tiriti and whakapapa

The Board is committed to working in partnership with Turi Māori, and agree the following principles inform engagement.

  1. The collective and individual rights and interests of Māori as tāngata whenua are recognised, protected, supported, and invested in[1]. The Government has an obligation to ensure these collective and individual rights are upheld for Turi Māori.
  2. NZSL related to te Ao Māori is emerging and belongs to Turi Māori just as NZSL belongs to the Deaf and NZSL communities.
  3. Strong Turi Māori leadership and governance will guide how participation in te Ao Māori through NZSL occurs, how it evolves and is made accessible to them – now and into the future.
  4. A collaborative approach is required for the development, promotion, and maintenance of access to te Ao Māori through NZSL. 
  5. A development strategy, sustained work programme, and adequate resourcing will establish, develop, and maintain access to Te Ao Māori in NZSL and related systems and infrastructure.
  6. Clear accountabilities will be in place to ensure roles and functions are well understood.  Contributions and goodwill from a wide range of organisations will be needed to create access along with building and sustaining trusting and collaborative relationships.
  7. Responsibility for monitoring will be shared with Turi Māori to understand what is working well and to identify opportunities to strengthen approaches and outcomes.
  8. The views and aspirations of Turi Māori are given primacy and the views of whānau and allies will also be considered.

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