For Deaf Awareness Week in 1999, NZSL interpreter Marc Ethan (nee Mark Huria) was included in the entire episode of Mai Time, an influential show for Māori youth as the presenters used both te Reo Māori and English, and topics covered explored te ao Māori. In addition to having Marc, Patrick Thompson also appeared in this episode, as did Kelston Deaf Education Centre’s famous sign singing choir, who signed Boyzone’s “No Matter What”.
Patrick, then working as Maori Deaf Development Manager at Deaf Association, described his work with Maori Deaf, and outlined their challenges. Patrick also shares some typical things that happen to Deaf people, such as cranking up the stereo’s volume to enjoy the heavy vibration, and “deafening” hearing people in the process! Another group of KDEC students, led by tutor Michael Wi, perform a variety of kapa haka.
Fun fact: Mai Time kickstarted the careers of many people, including Stacey Morrison, who today is a driving force behind encouraging more people to use te Reo Maori as part of their everyday language.