Funding to boost use of NZ Sign Language

A range of new community initiatives will benefit from funding to maintain and promote the use of New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), Minister for Disability Issues Priyanca Radhakrishnan has announced.

Six projects will receive a total of $175,241 for national and community-based projects that will benefit the adult Deaf community, Deaf children, Deaf youth, and their families.

“New Zealand is one of the few countries in the world where Sign Language is an official language. It is something we should all be proud of,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

“The use of New Zealand Sign Language opens up social, cultural, educational and employment opportunities for Deaf people and affirms culture and identity.  

“The community grants include $19,141 to bring Deaf and other NZSL youth together from across Wellington to develop NZSL skills, competency, and confidence.

“Most Deaf children are born into hearing families. So supporting NZSL in the home is vital to Deaf children acquiring NZSL. That is why $20,000 has been provided to support Deaf kiwi kids and their whānau to learn NZSL.

“The NZSL Board runs a contestable process for the funding, which gives everyone in the Deaf and NZSL user community the opportunity to put forward their ideas.

“This Government is committed to supporting the maintenance and promotion of New Zealand Sign Language through the work of the NZSL Board,” Priyanca Radhakrishnan said.

Information about all the projects being funded can be found at: