Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand

Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand (formerly named the New Zealand Association of the Deaf and the Deaf Association of New Zealand). Deaf Aotearoa is a Disabled Person’s Organisation and the New Zealand representative for the World Federation of the Deaf, the international body for Deaf people. Deaf Aotearoa works closely with government agencies, other not-for-profit organisations and the private sector to increase awareness of Deaf people’s lives, promote NZSL and strengthen the rights of Deaf people.

Early Beginnings

1990 Opening of McHattie House at Glen Eden, Auckland. From right: Margaret Coutts, Ken Brain, Malcolm Ward, Lorraine Nilsson and Daniel Beech. (Source: Talking Hands, Listening Eyes)

The New Zealand Association of the Deaf (NZAD) was formed in November 1977, with the slogan “Deafness – Let’s Face It.” Daniel Beech led the first inaugural meeting as chairman, and a committee was elected with Bruce McHattie as president.

The priorities of the NZAD were to gain more trained social workers for the Deaf, to encourage Deaf people to enter further education and to get captioned programmes onto television. There was only one social worker for the Deaf in the whole of New Zealand, and no sign language interpreters or captioned programmes.

The first field office was opened in Auckland in 1980. This was quickly followed by other offices in Christchurch and Wellington. Field officers were employed to support Deaf people in their daily lives.

 

NZAD projects

1991 Deaf View 1 conference at Kelston Deaf Education Centre.
September 1991. The launch of subtitling for the 6pm news. Jeff Went, Roger Horrocks (NZ on Air) and Linda Prouse.

The NZAD led, and was involved in numerous projects including; Deaf View 1991 the first national conference organised by Deaf people in NZ, the first New Zealand Sign Language Dictionary from 1991-1997, the campaign for captions on television through the 801 TXT Forum, the organising of the first National Hui for Maori Deaf in 1993, the establishment of the Friends of Young Deaf Leadership Training programme in 1994, and led work in Deaf mental health, life skills and literacy issues.

NZAD becomes Deaf Association of New Zealand

1994. The birth of FYD at the Deaf Aotearoa New Lynn office.

The NZAD became the Deaf Association of New Zealand in 1993 and continued to provide services, work on policy and lobby for the needs of Deaf people in New Zealand. The organisation had a name change to Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand in June 2009 to reflect the pride in representing a unique and valid community living in Aotearoa, embracing New Zealand Sign Language as an official language of New Zealand.

The NZAD and Interpreters

First interpreting course graduation class, 1985.
Daniel Beech speaking at the first interpreting course graduation, 1985.

In line with Ministry of Education policy, the NZAD officially promoted Total Communication from 1975-1985. However, after setting up the first Interpreter Training Committee in 1984, the Association chose NZSL as the language of training. The training led to the formation of the two year full time Interpreter Training course at AIT in 1992. Now the Deaf Association of New Zealand, DANZ continued to provide an interpreter service which became the iSign Booking Service in 2008.

Can also be found in

  1. 1993
    Donated by Deaf Aotearoa Image of Deaf Aotearoa

    NZAD Newsletter, November 1993

    Jennifer Brain, the President of the New Zealand Association of the Deaf (NZAD) presents their monthly newsletter in NZSL.

  2. 2000
    Donated by Deaf Aotearoa Image of Deaf Aotearoa

    Deaf Association of New Zealand 2000

    A look at the work of the New Zealand Association of the Deaf, presented by Judy Bailey.

  3. 1993
    Donated by Deaf Aotearoa Image of Deaf Aotearoa

    NZAD Newsletter, March 1993

    Signed version of the NZAD newsletter in March 1993.

  4. 1989
    Donated by Deaf Aotearoa Image of Deaf Aotearoa

    National Foundation for the Deaf promotional video

    National Foundation for the Deaf produce a promotional video explaining their role and the purpose of their member organisations.

  5. 1985
    Donated by Victoria University of Wellington Image of Victoria University of Wellington

    First interpreting course graduation - 1985

    The Sign Language Interpreting course graduation ceremony September 1985, after 14 weeks training.

  6. 1999
    Donated by Rūaumoko Komiti Image of Rūaumoko Komiti

    Deaf Association opens its new Auckland office

    The Deaf Association of New Zealand opens its new offices on Great North Road, Avondale, Auckland in November 1999.

  7. 1994
    Donated by Image of

    A Deafening Silence

    A ‘Frontline’ documentary that touches upon an on-going topic - Deaf Education - in the Deaf community, not only in New Zealand but worldwide as well. In 2019, the message remains as familiar as it was twenty-five years ago.

  8. 1990
    Donated by Deaf Aotearoa Image of Deaf Aotearoa

    Opening of the Bruce McHattie House

    The ceremony and speeches to open McHattie House, used as the national office for NZAD.

  9. 1992
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    New Zealand Police Commissioner considers Deaf access to justice

    Two weeks after 'The Remand of Ivan Curry' screens on TV1, Police Commissioner John Jamieson meets with Jennifer Brain to work out better procedures for dealing with Deaf people in custody.

  10. 1996
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    Deaf Awareness Week 1996

    Deaf Awareness Week 1996 begins, with a spotlight on Des Barton, who finds the latest technology in hearing aids a great improvement. Angela Sew Hoy highlights that the week is aiming to raise awareness about Deaf people, their language and culture.

  11. 1995
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    A behind-the-scenes look at the Teletext system

    During 'Deafness Awareness Week' in 1995, One Network News runs a news clip that highlights why Teletext is invaluable to the Deaf community. Patreena Bryan shares with us how captions give Deaf people equality.

  12. 1996
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    Angela Sew Hoy: A Deaf Chinese New Zealander

    ‘Asia Dynamic’ catches up with Angela Sew Hoy, to find out what life is like as a Deaf Chinese New Zealander, navigating three different cultures in everyday life.