Documentaries

Documentaries can engage an audience in a far stronger way than any presentation could hope to achieve. They therefore become a powerful tool for drawing attention to a particular issue or celebrating an achievement. Generally speaking there are two types of documentary: those made by a minority community about an issue, and those made by the majority society about the minority community. Both can have their place and reveal something special in a unique way. This section includes both kinds. Special mention should go to Joan Bailey, who pioneered Deaf documentary making in NZ, and whose work you can view in this section. Please note that if you have a documentary to add to SignDNA, we would welcome it. Please be in touch.

Can also be found in

  1. 1976
    Donated by Manawatu Deaf Society Image of Manawatu Deaf Society

    Understand the Silence: A Silent Documentary about the Silent World of Deafness

    This documentary was filmed and edited by Joan Bailey and released in 1976. It covers the preparation and running of the St Dominics Gala Day, as well as Manawatu Deaf Club picnics, and the Manawatu Womens Group.

  2. 1988
    Donated by Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision Image of Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

    I'm Deaf, It's OK

    A day in the life of Gareth Griffiths, a ten year old Deaf boy.

  3. 2000
    Donated by Deaf Aotearoa Image of Deaf Aotearoa

    Inside Out: The Art of Signing

    Inside Out produces a programme about New Zealand Sign Language, its value to the Deaf community as well as its artistic forms.

  4. 2004
    Donated by Rūaumoko Komiti Image of Rūaumoko Komiti

    The experiences of Māori Deaf

    This segment from Māori TV’s Te Hēteri focuses on the experiences of Māori Deaf, catching up with Patrick Thompson, Whiti Ronaki, and Hemi Hema.

  5. 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.

  6. 1993
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    Sounds or Silence?

    In the early 1990s, due to a breakthrough in technology, cochlear implants were starting to become the norm. The Deaf community worldwide viewed cochlear implants as a device that disregarded the need for access to sign language. Others considered such devices a miracle. In 1993, ‘60 Minutes’ investigated this controversial topic in New Zealand.

  7. 1991
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    Māori Deaf and Deaf education

    A look at the cultural education needs of Māori Deaf students. Māori Deaf are likely to experience more barriers in the education sector. Interviews undertaken by ‘Marae’ shows us that the multiple cultural identities of Māori Deaf are not completely accommodated for with aspirations on how to resolve this.

  8. 1993
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    Spotlight on Pasifika Deaf

    Tangata Pasifika visits Kelston Deaf Education Centre and meets with a number of Pasifika Deaf students part of the school’s transition programme, interviewing Rosie Amituanai and her family.

  9. 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.

  10. 1984
    Donated by Television New Zealand Archive Image of Television New Zealand Archive

    You and Your Child - Deaf edition

    'You and Your Child' programme focuses on Deaf children, education and language and interview some parents about their Deaf children.