1993
video – Taonga source: 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.
Television New Zealand Archive
1968
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: Winter 1968 (Vol. 5, No. 4)

1969
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: 1969 (Vol. 6, No. 3)

2001
video – Taonga source: Lorraine Butler

Deaf Diversity – Queer Nation

Queer Nation meets a sporty lesbian with nimble fingers. Lorraine talks about her identity, involvement with Deaf sports, performing and access, emphasising that Deaf people are really no different from hearing people.
Lorraine Butler
2019
video – Taonga source: Merge NZ

Interview: Victoria Lessing from Merge NZ talks about learning NZSL and its benefits

Victoria Lessing, Merge NZ Co-Director, talks with Seecus about learning NZSL and its benefits.
Merge NZ
1990
article – Taonga source: NZ Herald

Singing and signing

The price in being part of the 600-strong Commonwealth Games opening ceremony choir as they use sign language to sing is evident.
2008
video – Taonga source: Attitude Pictures

Nirvana teaching Sign Language

She’s a great mum and teacher and she’s deaf. Nirvana Graham is creating history by teaching our third official language in mainstream school.
Attitude Pictures
2020
article – Taonga source: Waikato Times

Masks causing issues for deaf Waikato man

Wearing a face mask is meant to help slow the spread of Covid-19. But for Tokoroa’s Roger Drower, who is partially deaf, they’ve left him feeling discriminated and isolated.
Waikato Times
1981
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers at Telethon 1981

The popular Sign Singers are the first act to perform at the 1981 Telethon Live at the Auckland Town Hall.
Dulcie McKie
1992
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Communicate: June 1992

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1982
article – Taonga source: AID Magazine

Deaf field officers – their disability is their qualification

In the past 18 months, the NZAD has opened field offices in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington, and hopes soon to establish two more in Nelson and Dunedin.
1989
article – Taonga source: Unknown

Deaf study tour hit by obstacle

Many obstacles, including their deafness, are getting in the way of a planned study to the United States and Britain for Angela and Shelia.
1983
article – Taonga source: NZ Herald

Sign Language Puts The Deaf in Tune

The Deaf Sign Singers have a busy schedule this year with performances throughout the North Island.
1982
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers: ‘Harmony’

The Sign Singers perform 'Harmony' broadcast on Stars on Sunday in February 1983. They are introduced in sign language, in one of the first examples of a non-Deaf person signing on prime time television.
Dulcie McKie
1992
article – Taonga source: Western Leader

Curry case highlights Deaf plight

A television documentary on the plight of a deaf man has spurred the Glen Eden-based New Zealand Association of the Deaf into action. It wants to see the man, wrongly imprisoned for two years, receive compensation for his ordeal.
1992
video – Taonga source: 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.
Television New Zealand Archive
1996
video – Taonga source: 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.
Television New Zealand Archive
2019
article – Taonga source: Manawatū Standard.

Deaf woman helps others learn sign language over a pint

Candice David was only 3 when she lost her hearing. Now, she's helping others learn her only form of communication, NZSL. Candice was at Palmerston North bar Brew Union on Sunday, offering free NZSL tutorials to all patrons.
Manawatū Standard.
2021
article – Taonga source: Stuff

Treated like a criminal’: Deaf traveller’s ‘terrible experience’ returning to New Zealand

A Deaf woman is calling for airlines and airports to better equip staff to communicate with Deaf and Hard of Hearing travellers after a “terrible experience” returning to New Zealand from Rarotonga that made her feel she was being “treated like a criminal”.
Stuff
2023
video – Taonga source: Māori Television

Mother’s plea to see Aotearoa more sensitive to deaf community

Sign language is one of three official languages of Aotearoa, but Tofi Au’vaa says it's still a struggle educating people about the challenges faced by the deaf community.
Māori Television
1992
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Communicate: March 1992

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1989
article – Taonga source: The Press

TVNZ taken to task

The chairman of the Hillary Commission, Sir Ronald Scott, has joined in the chorus of criticism over television coverage of the World Games for the Deaf. He said Television New Zealand was insensitive to the needs of the deaf when covering the Games.
1985
article – Taonga source: Unknown

Overcoming the invisible handicap

It takes only a few minutes in the company of Pat Dugdale to realise that she has a mischievous sense of fun. It’s almost as if she enjoys shocking people and then watching their reaction.
1973
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: 1973 (Vol. 10, No. 2)

1982
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers: ‘Oh What a Beautiful Day’

The Sign Singers perform 'Oh What a Beautiful Day' broadcast on Stars on Sunday in February 1983.
Dulcie McKie
1987
article – Taonga source: The Dominion

Communicating from a silent world

Jenny Griffiths, the mother of two profoundly deaf children, talks about communicating with them in Total Communication.
1984
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: Spring 1984 (Vol. 21, No. 3)

1997
article – Taonga source: NZ Herald

Art of surviving in silence

An interview with Abbie Twiss on World Deaf Awareness Day, and the start of New Zealand's National Deaf Awareness Week. Here, Abbie looks out from her Elam studio. "My thoughts go much faster than I can write." 
1987
article – Taonga source: The Press

All the world is a stage – for the deaf, too

“Speaking hands, hearing eyes” is the title of an Australian folk song about the deaf. It is also the dictum by which Anne Tweedie lives and why she has started a Theatre for the Deaf.
1991
article – Taonga source: The Chronicle

Coping with deafness in a hearing world

Cushla and Brian talk about their lives – being Deaf, their experiences at school, employment, and communication.
2018
article – Taonga source: Stuff

An ‘inspirational’ deaf teacher is teaching sign language to hearing toddlers

One deaf teacher in south Auckland has inspired several toddlers and their parents to learn sign language.
Stuff
1987
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Journal: December 1987 (Vol. 1 No. 4)

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1993
article – Taonga source: Contact

Hands says it all

Kevin Stokes wishes more people spoke his language. He would also like to see it recognised, as New Zealand's third official language, alng with English and Maori.
1970
article – Taonga source: The Times.

Problem that too often falls on ‘deaf ears’…

In Hamilton, there are four deaf units, three at Hamilton West and one at Melville Intermediate. Next year there is going to be a deaf unit at Melville High School.
1982
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers: ‘Born Free’

The Sign Singers perform the song 'Born Free' broadcast on Stars on Sunday in June 1982.
Dulcie McKie
1968
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: Summer 1968 (Vol. 5, No. 2)

1989
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Journal: December 1989 (Vol. 3, No. 4)

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
2023
article – Taonga source: The Northland Age

Sign of the times: Teaching of New Zealand’s third official language growing ‘bigger and better’

Far North Mayor Moko Tepania may be the best-known Far North face learning NZSL, but he’s in growing company.
The Northland Age
1992
article – Taonga source: Nelson Mail

Living in a silent world

This week is Deaf Awareness Week. Nelson Mail reporter interviewed two women from Nelson's deaf community this week: Fliss Maera and Susan Thomas. The Nelson Club has between 25 to 30 members.
1991
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Journal: March 1991 (Vol. 5, No. 1)

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1981
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers: ‘I Hear Your Hand’

The Sign Singers perform the song 'I Hear Your Hand' for the Stars on Sunday programme.
Dulcie McKie
2019
video – Taonga source: Merge NZ

Interview: Jamie Brown from Merge NZ talks about the impacts and benefits of learning NZSL

Jaime Brown, Merge NZ Co-Director, learned NZSL and didn't just find a language, but a community and a passion. Seecus talks to Jaime about the impacts NZSL has had for her and the benefits of learning sign language.
Merge NZ
1999
video – Taonga source: Rūaumoko Komiti

Mai Time features NZSL!

Mai Time made one of their episodes accessible in NZSL to mark Deaf Awareness Week 1999. KDEC’s sign singing choir and Patrick Thompson made an appearance along with as did Rūaumoko Marae’s kapa haka roopu.
Rūaumoko Komiti
1989
article – Taonga source: NZ Herald

Deaf ‘denied basic rights’ in courts

A fight has begun against a justice system which some deaf people regard as denying them basic human rights.
1985
article – Taonga source: The Evening Post

Pam and Kaz take life in their stride

Says Pam: “I think for me I live in two worlds and have two languages, the deaf language and the hearing language. I speak the deaf language because I was brought up with it.”
1971
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: 1971 (Vol. 8, No. 2)

2015
video – Taonga source: Auckland Deaf Society

History through Young Eyes: Interview with Susie Ovens

A Tu Kokiri student interviews Susie Ovens on her involvement with the infamous Deaf Sign Singers group.
Auckland Deaf Society
2019
video – Taonga source: Merge NZ

The Watercooler: Deaf Edition

Three Deaf panelists talk about their experiences in communication, schooling, and work. Facilitated by a Deaf MC with interpreted voice over these hilarious, heartwarming experiences give an insight into the Deaf community.
Merge NZ
1996
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

A look into the new bilingual approach at Kelston Deaf Education Centre

One of the goals of 1996’s Deaf Awareness Week was to better educate New Zealanders about New Zealand Sign Language, and as part of this, One Network News visited Kelston Deaf Education Centre in Auckland. KDEC which has a new bilingual teaching method using both NZSL and English.
Television New Zealand Archive
1973
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: 1973 (Vol. 10, No. 4)

2000
article – Taonga source: Unknown

People pay to shut councillors up

Wellington City councillors, renowned for their verbal spats, were staying strangely quiet this morning. As part of Shut Up Day, run by the Deaf Association of New Zealand, the Mayor and councillors were reduced to talking in sign language between 8am and midday.
1990
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: Autumn/Winter 1990 (Vol. 24, No. 1)

1968
article – Taonga source: Unknown

A life few people know

Few people with normal hearing stop to consider the daily frustrations faced by the deaf.
1990
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Journal: June 1990 (Vol. 4, No. 2)

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1969
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: 1969 (Vol. 6, No. 2)

1992
article – Taonga source: NZ Herald

Treatment of deaf man is modern horror story

The documentary 'The Remand of Ivan Curry (One, Sunday 9.35) was the story of how a man could spend two years in a New Zealand prison without trial. A deaf man arrested for a murder he did not commit who was kept in jail through lack of police investigation then turned back onto the streets with nothing, not even an apology.
2001
article – Taonga source: Unknown

Loud and clear

The deaf community believes it has been misunderstood and misinterpreted for too long. Now it wants to be seen and heard as a group with its own cultural identity.
1969
article – Taonga source: The Auckland Star

They’re shut out-lonely and deaf

Trevor Fear, Auckland's newly-appointed deaf welfare officer talks about his experiences, the deaf community and their needs.
1985
article – Taonga source: Unknown

Desperate need in N.Z. for interpreters

Qualified interpreters are desperately needed to cope with the needs of deaf people in New Zealand.
2013
article – Taonga source: Stuff

Fire drill at Auckland University an ‘opportunity’ for deaf students

Auckland University's fire drill on Monday left a deaf student feeling forgotten, but could be an opportunity for change, advocates say. Profoundly deaf psychology student Dean Buckley, 21, didn't know about the evacuation until he saw a fire warden yelling at him, minutes after everyone else in his building had fled outside.
Stuff
1995
video – Taonga source: 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.
Television New Zealand Archive
1981
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers perform Silent Night

The Sign Singers perform the famous carol 'Silent Night' for the Stars on Sunday programme.
Dulcie McKie
2023
article – Taonga source: Bay of Plenty Times

Deaf couple use sign language to organise building a new house

A new house build can be a challenging time for a young couple. But Gregory and Victoria Lessing are also deaf, and undertook a house build from scratch using NZSL.
Bay of Plenty Times
1971
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: 1971 (Vol. 8, No. 3)

1988
article – Taonga source: Capital Times

Deaf society celebrates anniversary

Wellington Deaf Society secretary, Pat Dugdale, is expecting 200 people from around New Zealand to take part in its 50th anniversary celebrations.
1989
video – Taonga source: 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.
Deaf Aotearoa
2018
video – Taonga source: Darryl Alexander

The Making of an NZSL Friendly School

The Making of a NZSL Friendly School follows Andre, who began as a new entrant at the school in 2016, and the journey of his teachers, classmates and wider school community in learning NZSL and incorporating it into school curriculum.
Darryl Alexander
1993
video – Taonga source: 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.
Television New Zealand Archive
1990
article – Taonga source: Unknown

Getting the best from a less-than-perfect body

Some make a fuss, dress up and do it because its fashionable. Others do it for the sport and for the good of their bodies. Peter Barker, who is deaf, is one of the others.
1989
article – Taonga source: Unknown

Deaf angry at threat facing News Review

Deaf people are angered and disappointed by the threat facing the TV show News Review.
1996
video – Taonga source: 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.
Television New Zealand Archive
2021
article – Taonga source: Stuff

Burger King staff yell and swear at Deaf man ordering dinner for his kids

Barry Kay just wanted to order dinner for his kids at Burger King. The Christchurch builder had written his order in big letters on a piece of paper for the drive-through, as he had done before. But when he handed over his order at the window on Friday, the operator told him to go inside.
Stuff
1990
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Welcome 1990 Haere Mai!

The Auckland Sign Singers were invited to perform with others in a three-hour entertainment special to celebrate 1990 which was broadcast live from Bastion Point on TV One at 7.30pm.
Dulcie McKie
2005
video – Taonga source: AUT Visual Languages Section

Toa Anga Whati Māori

Māori TV's 'Toa Anga Whati Māori' profiles the Deaf Association of New Zealand on its weekly program, interviewing a series of Deaf people in sports (golf, touch rugby, rugby) before touching upon the job of a Deaf Awareness Officer who delivers training throughout New Zealand.
AUT Visual Languages Section
2023
article – Taonga source: Woman’s Day

Erica Dawson’s sign language battle ‘We’re nothing to be afraid of’

"There's still a lot of barriers for deaf people in this country," says Erica, who lost her hearing when she was six months old. "We face all sorts of challenges that hearing people take for granted, such as finding interpreters to help us with schoolwork or meetings at work."
Woman’s Day
1982
article – Taonga source: Unknown

Coping in a hearing world

Rachel Noble and Donna Allen, both 17 and profoundly deaf, talk about their experiences in education.
1988
article – Taonga source: NZ Woman’s Weekly

They’re naturals for the part

A production this month of the play Children of a Lesser God in Auckland will feature two deaf actors, Bryan Williams and Sheila Gibbons. And the starring role will be played, for the second time, by Gloss actress Miranda Harcourt.
1992
video – Taonga source: Sue Williams

The Remand of Ivan Curry

A documentary outlining the case of Ivan Curry who, in 1988, was arrested and tried for the murder of his baby nephew. The documentary explores the case and in particular the plight of Ivan Curry who was remanded without bail for 15 months awaiting trial, as well as the difficulty Deaf people face navigating the justice system.
Sue Williams
1988
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

Spot On interview of Deaf actor in ‘Strangers’

'Strangers' was a TVNZ-produced drama series for children, with one Deaf character played by 7-year-old Sonia Pivac. Reporter Phil Keoghan, from ‘Spot On’, interviews Sonia about being the only Deaf actor in the drama.
Television New Zealand Archive
1982
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers: ‘Sailing’

The Sign Singers perform the hit song 'Sailing' broadcast on Stars on Sunday in May 1982. Ian Watkins, introduces the group by saying “…and I’m delighted to welcome back to the programme the deaf sign singers.”
Dulcie McKie
2006
video – Taonga source: Handmade Productions Aotearoa

Sign of the Times: The Story of New Zealand’s Visual Language

In April 2006, New Zealand Parliament declared NZSL to be an official language - the culmination of a 20-year battle by the deaf community, and a true hallmark in the recognition of their native language. 'Sign of the Times' is about the deaf New Zealanders who fought to have their language recognised as a real language and as a viable means of communication. The film documents the community's celebration of the official recognition of their language and looks at the community's ongoing hopes and aspirations for their language and culture.
Handmade Productions Aotearoa
2009
video – Taonga source: Asia Downunder

Sign of the times

We meet Kaori Kobayashi, the first Asian Deaf Teacher in New Zealand.
Asia Downunder
1990
publication – Taonga source: National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing

NFD Journal: March 1990 (Vol. 4, No. 1)

National Foundation for Deaf and Hard of Hearing
1980
article – Taonga source: NZ Woman’s Weekly

Helen Keller: The great made her their heroine

To mark the centenary of the birth of Helen Keller on June 27, 1880, Pat Dugale has written about unusual experiences in her life.
1989
article – Taonga source: The Dominion

Board of trustees accepts extra challenges at school for deaf

Board member Ava Buzzard, who has been deaf since birth, is excited by the chance to have a greater role in a school she has been involved with for many years.
2016
video – Taonga source: Attitude Pictures

Parenting with Sign Language

We’re alongside Sarah who is Deaf and preparing to give birth to her first child. Having been there twice before, Deaf parents Victoria and Greg, are on hand for advice.
Attitude Pictures
1968
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: Autumn 1968 (Vol. 5, No. 3)

1988
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

Deaf young actor on ‘Strangers’

'Strangers' was a TVNZ-produced drama series, including one Deaf character played by 7-year-old Sonia Pivac. This short documentary is a brief look behind the scenes of the filming process.
Television New Zealand Archive
1984
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Sign Singers perform on the ‘In South Tonight’ programme – Dunedin 1984

The Sign Singers tour the South Island for Deaf Awareness in 1984, and are invited to perform on ‘In South Tonight’ while in Dunedin.
Dulcie McKie
1983
video – Taonga source: Dulcie McKie

Bruce McHattie encourages Deaf to donate at the Auckland Telethon

Bruce McHattie from Auckland Deaf Society participates in the 1983 Telethon in Auckland, aimed at fundraising for a specific cause. Deaf people could be involved too, and make donations by calling a specific number via their TTY and state their donation.
Dulcie McKie
2023
video – Taonga source: Speak Up Kōrerotia

Speak Up Kōrerotia – Deaf Education in Aotearoa

This special NZSL Week show looks at the history and progression of deaf education in Aotearoa over time, from the oral method of communication taught for decades to the current use and teaching of NZSL. We interview Kay Drew (former teacher at the Van Asch Deaf Education Centre in Christchurch, and a CODA - child of deaf adults) and Sara Pivac Alexander (Te Herenga Waka Victoria University)
Speak Up Kōrerotia
1979
video – Taonga source: Television New Zealand Archive

‘Speaking’ shown on ‘The South Tonight’

Total Communication is promoted on ‘The South Tonight’ by MOACOM, a newly formed influential group.
Television New Zealand Archive
1991
article – Taonga source: NZ Herald

The sounds of silence

Turn the light on, so I can hear what you're saying. It's an old line, but a favourite one among us hearing-impaired people, because it points up how we "hear" with our eyes as surely as blind people "see" with their fingers or their ears.
2019
video – Taonga source: Merge NZ

After decades of crusading for NZ’s deaf community, Auckland woman honoured as ‘local hero’

The New Zealander of the Year will be announced tonight and as part of it, a number of local heroes have been recognised. One of them is Aucklander Victoria Lessing, who has been deaf her whole life and has spent 20 years raising the profile of NZSL. Two years ago, her passion developed into a company called Merge NZ, which she runs alongside her business partner, Jaime Brown.
Merge NZ
1984
article – Taonga source: Southern News

Helping deaf to communicate

There is still much lack of understanding among the general public about the needs of deaf people, says Pat Dugdale, field officer in Wellington for the New Zealand Association of the Deaf.
1985
article – Taonga source: The Marlborough Express

Future for deaf takes on rosy glow

Deaf job-seekers face seemingly unsurmountable obstacles and prejudice. But a new polytech course promoting positive action is smoothing the way.
1969
publication – Taonga source: New Zealand Deaf News

NZ Deaf News: October 1969 (Vol. 6, No. 4)

2011
video – Taonga source: Asia Downunder

I’m Deaf, Let’s Talk

Meet Karishma Mohan, one of the faces of NZSL Week 2011. Here, we get a glimpse of Karishma's life – both home, work and socially. She is studying to become a teacher with a practicum at Kelston Deaf Education Centre's pre-school.
Asia Downunder
The Sign Singing Superstars
The Sign Singing Superstars
The Sign Singing Superstars
1980s
Collection

The Sign Singing Superstars

Collection of archival items related to the Sign Singing Superstars, with videos, images, articles and later, NZSL stories!