Parliament captioning increasing accessibility

  • Amy Adams
  • Nicky Wagner
Disability Issues Broadcasting

The captioning of all Parliament TV’s broadcasts will provide better access for deaf and hearing impaired New Zealanders, say Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams and Disability Issues Minister Nicky Wagner.

“The captioning of Parliament TV is a valuable addition to the captioning landscape in New Zealand,” says Ms Adams.

“The Government, through NZ On Air, funds the charitable trust Able with $2.8 million a year to caption content on free to air TV.

“It’s been a great year for captioning in New Zealand. In February, Prime began broadcasting with captions and the coverage of the Olympic Games in Rio also on Prime has substantial live captioning each day.”

Since 2004, overall captioning levels on free-to-view television have increased from around 70 hours a week to more than 260 hours a week. Able also provides 35 hours of audio description per week.

“Parliament is the centre of democracy in New Zealand and it is essential that it is inclusive and accessible for all New Zealanders,” Ms Wagner says.

“Having closed captions for all of Parliament’s sittings enables more people to participate in democracy by being able to understand the questions and debate in the House.

“The benefits of captioning are wide-ranging. While it can assist the deaf and hearing impaired, captioning particularly benefits older people as the likelihood of hearing impairment increases with age. People with English as a second language will also benefit as will those who are viewing Parliament TV in a noisy environment.

“Our congratulations go to the Office of the Clerk for taking the initiative to reach more people and help to make Parliament more accessible,” Ms Adams and Ms Wagner say.

For instructions on how to access Parliament TV captions, please visit