About NZSL Act
For years, the Deaf Community had lobbied for the official recognition of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) as a true and natural language of the Deaf Community. Led by the Office for Disability Issues, the New Zealand Sign Language Bill was developed to recognise NZSL as an official language.
To become an Act, the bill had to pass through three readings. At the first reading, there were no opposition, and the bill passed. At the second and third reading the only opposition came from the ACT party but the total number of votes still outnumbered the opposition.
Over 150 people from the Deaf Community came to Wellington to witness the historic moment in Deaf History and left the parliament cheering — the 3rd Reading of the NZSL Bill passed! A celebration followed at the foyer of the Beehive, hosted by Hon. Ruth Dyson who supported and helped led the Bill into the making.
On 10 April 2006, the Governor-General performed the royal assent by signing the bill, making it an act. It was then known as the New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006.
What does this mean for NZSLTA?
The NZSLTA Executive Committee was proud to converge in Wellington to support the 3rd Reading of the NZSL Bill. The Executive Committee acknowledges this will affect NZSLTA and now we will assume a bigger responsibility and serious commitment to recruit, train, and develop more NZSL teachers and tutors.
NZSLTA supports full accessibility for the Deaf and to have this turn into a reality, we are readily to assume the big task of encouraging and expanding the number of teachers and tutors of NZSL to expand more NZSL classes for citizens of New Zealand.
Webcast of Bill Readings