New Zealand Sign Language in Parliament an important step toward increased accessibility

Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni welcomes today’s announcement that New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), which is an official language, will be made available during question time in Parliament.

“This is a significant move toward ensuring the Deaf community has an opportunity to engage with political proceedings in their own language,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“A huge number of issues are raised and challenged during oral question time in the House. Having NZSL interpreters available will make a big difference to Deaf people wanting to know what political views are being expressed.

“I applaud the Clerk of the House of Representatives for broadening the options for people to follow what’s happening in the House every sitting day and for encouraging everyone to participate in Parliament.

“It’s about making information accessible so all New Zealanders can become informed and engaged in political issues,” Carmel Sepuloni said.

“This government is committed to supporting disabled people to live their lives to their fullest potential. Removing disabling barriers is pivotal to achieving that.

Editors notes:

NZSL will be on offer on Budget Day (17 May) for the Budget Statement presented by the Minister of Finance and speeches from party leaders.

It will also be available during each stage of the Election Access Fund Bill, which was introduced on 22 February this year.

Closed captions available on Parliament TV live or later on demand, offer another way to follow what’s happening at Parliament.