New Zealand Sign Language Week

New Zealand Sign Language Week 2019 will take place from Monday 6 to Sunday 12 May. Deaf Aotearoa organises this celebration of one of the country’s official languages, New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).

New Zealand Sign Language Week

NZSL Week helps promote the language and aims to raise awareness about New Zealand’s Deaf community. It also provides the Deaf community a chance to put their hands up and be heard, and to stand proud as Deaf as well as promoting their language and culture.

NZSL at Tūranga - Thursday 9 May 12pm to 1pm

Come and celebrate New Zealand Sign Language Week by joining a public New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) taster class at Tūranga. Rachel and Debra are coming to teach some NZSL basic including simple words and phrases. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn the language of New Zealand’s Deaf community and an official language of New Zealand. Limited to 40 spaces.
Location: Wāhi Whānau, Hapori | Community, Level 1, Tūranga

NZSL Resources

There are a range of useful New Zealand Sign Language resources on the Deaf Aotearoa website, including Let's talk booklets with 25 signs to learn at work, with your family, Māori concepts, for medical situations, and for the weekend.

Library resources


Other resources

Ministry of Education New Zealand in collaboration with Deaf Aotearoa, have produced a number of children's Ready to Read eBooks that use NZSL. They can be purchased from iTunes (for Apple devices) or GooglePlay (for Android devices). Titles include:

  • Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Diary by Lynley Dodd
  • The King's Birthday, by Dot Meharry
  • Talking to Nanny by Jo Carson-Barry

The Ministry of Education also has Thumbs Up! An Introduction to New Zealand Sign Language, a resource supports the teaching and learning of NZSL as an additional language in English-medium schools.

The New Zealand Federation for Deaf Children is a useful website for parents.