Rūaumoko Komiti

Being Māori Deaf: Interview with Patrick Thompson

2004
Raw footage of an interview with Patrick Thompson attempting to connect with a Māori culture he was denied growing up. Patrick provides a voice for Māori Deaf, to grow understanding about the challenges they face, and to promote the importance of NZSL.
Image for Being Māori Deaf: Interview with Patrick Thompson

This is raw footage of the interview portion of the documentary: The experiences of Māori Deaf. The programme follows social worker Patrick Thompson attempting to connect with a Māori culture he was denied growing up. Thompson says he never fulfilled his father’s dream that he would grow up speaking te reo on the paepae.

Issues covered in the interview:

  • Barriers for Māori Deaf
  • Needed support for Māori Deaf
  • Barriers still faced with NZ Disability Strategy
  • How Māori organisations can be more responsive to needs of Māori Deaf
  • Rūaumoko Marae project
  • Passion and drive for elevating Māori Deaf

In the 1960s, it was compulsory for Deaf children in New Zealand to be sent to a Deaf school from as young as four, which took them away from their whanau, hapu and iwi, and the cultural ties they might have had. At that same period, a rubella epidemic savaged Māori communities, leading to deafness in a large number of children. By the 1970s, Māori made up over 80 per cent of the student population at Kelston School for the Deaf.

This programme provides a voice for Māori Deaf, to grow understanding about the challenges they face, and to promote the importance of NZSL.

Please note, only audio content has been captioned, not NZSL responses. SignDNA has limited resources and is always on the look out for captioners – hearing volunteers who can caption the audio content and NZSL users who can caption the NZSL content. If you are interested in volunteering, please get in touch with SignDNA.

File ref: RUA05-01-MD04

Donated by Rūaumoko Komiti
Produced by Māori Television
Original format VHS