NZSL Fund - Questions and Answers

The NZSL Fund invests in projects that develop and enhance the abilities, access, and rights of the core NZSL community.

Common questions about the NZSL Fund

What is the NZSL Fund?

In May 2014 Cabinet agreed to the establishment of a NZSL Board and Fund, and agreed five initial priorities for the promotion and maintenance of NZSL:

  • Include NZSL in education
  • Promote NZSL in the home
  • Provide access to information and services in NZSL
  • Provide access for Deaf Māori
  • Develop interpreter standards.

Amongst other responsibilities, the NZSL Board is responsible for oversight of the NZSL Fund, and making recommendations on the allocation of funds from it to promote and maintain NZSL.

In Budget 2014 $1.5 million per year (ongoing) was made available for the NZSL Board and Fund. Of this, $250,000 annually is for the establishment and on-going costs of the NZSL Board, including secretariat support from ODI, and the remaining $1.25 million will be allocated from the Fund to support initiatives that promote and maintain NZSL.

There have been three rounds of funding:

The Policies and Criteria, approved annually by the Minister for Disability Issues, for the NZSL Fund provide clarity on the aims of the NZSL Fund, and the factors and processes to be used by the NZSL Board when making recommendations on its allocation.

How does the NZSL Board manage potential or actual conflicts of interest in carrying out its duties?

The NZSL Board has adequate processes in place to manage potential, perceived and actual conflicts of interest. These management processes are set out in its Terms of Reference and are in accordance with the guidelines published by the State Services Commission and the Office of the Auditor General.

Processes to manage conflicts of interest include maintaining a detailed register of members’ interests, and discussing it as the first agenda item for each meeting. NZSL Board rules also prevent the member from voting on the matter.

Prior to discussion on each application, the NZSL Board Chair checked the Conflicts Register and announced those who had declared a conflict of interest. The NZSL Board Chair then asked for any further conflicts of interest to be announced, and added to the register if any. NZSL Board members with a conflict of interest were removed from participating in the discussion for that application. They were also not able to answer any questions and could not vote. Where the NZSL Board Chair has a conflict of interest the board collectively select another NZSL Board member member to facilitate the discussion on that topic.

When is the next funding round, and how much will be available?

There is a funding round open from 2 February, closing 8 March 2018.

Two-year funding was granted to the Ministry of Education’s NZSL Proficiency Instrument (NZSL SLPI) – Adult Assessment project, with $77,366.96 committed from the 2016-2017 funding.

More questions?

If there anything you’d like to see covered in these questions and answers, or have further questions, please contact the Office for Disability Issues at

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