September, 2010
ISSN 1178-0967
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News & Issues

Language Line helps ethnic communities cope after Canterbury Earthquake

Christchurch earthquake emergency lines are now connected to Language Line, the Office of Ethnic Affairs telephone service with interpreters in 40 different languages.

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Language Line support for new parents who speak little or no English

For new parents who speak little or no English, it’s good to hear that Plunket has now joined Language Line. This means they can talk to their Plunket nurse and find out more about information and services to do with their new baby. The Plunket nurse is a familiar part of the baby landscape and people can also get information about vaccination schedules, baby car seat rentals and much more.

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Diversity Forum presentations available online

Missed out on the Diversity Forum, but are interested in the topics discussed? View or download the Forum presentations here.

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New play explores communication for Deaf and hearing communities

The play Resolve premieres at BATs Theatre in Wellington on 21 September and runs until 2 October 2010. It uses life stories and personal experiences of the Deaf and hearing communities and will be performed using movement, facial expressions and gestures without the use of spoken English or New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL).

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Code of Patient Rights now available in Greek

The Health and Disability Commission (HDC) has published a Greek language translation of the Code of Patient Rights which can be viewed on the HDC website. According to the Hellenic Congress of New Zealand it’s believed be the first official document in New Zealand translated into Greek. Access the Code of Patient Rights in thirty different languages by visiting

Teacher says time is right for compulsory Māori language at school

Te Ataarangi teaching group chair Rahera Shortland, a veteran teacher of te reo Māori, says the time is right to introduce compulsory Māori language into the school curriculum. Ms Shortland started the first Māori immersion class in a mainstream school at Auckland Girls Grammar, and says developments such as Māori language week have paved the way for wider acceptance.

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Environment Canterbury formally endorse Māori place names

Environment Canterbury Commissioners formally endorsed the dual use of Māori place names with their European equivalent by the regional council at their public meeting in August.

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Gagana Sāmoa to be a scholarship subject from 2011

Following a review of scholarship subjects in 2010, the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) announced on 7 September that the Samoan Language will be examined as a Scholarship subject from 2011. Read the full media release here.

South Island Guidebook published in Korean

The Korean Society of Christchurch has published a New Zealand South Island Guidebook in the Korean language which includes settlement information and a business directory. Contact the Korean Society if your community group or organisation would like a free copy to pass on to Korean migrants or visitors.

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Places available to learn English at Canterbury College

Canterbury College is offering free places for those wanting to learn English or improve their reading and writing skills. These places are open for those who have permanent residency or New Zealand citizenship. There are full-time and part-time courses available (full- time is 9-12 and 1-3pm /part-time is either mornings or afternoons).

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Minister clarifies purpose of Māori Language Review

Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples says the real purpose of a value-for-money review of government expenditure on Māori language promotion is to ensure the survival of Māori language.

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Language teachers to gain internationally recognised qualifications

Teacher Professional Development Languages Years 7 to 10 (TPDL) is a year-long programme funded by the Ministry of Education. TPDL assists both existing and new teachers of languages improve their language and culture knowledge and apply pedagogy that has a real and positive impact on student learning. Teachers can gain internationally recognised language qualifications as well as accreditation in language teaching through this programme.

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Future Events

AKTESOL Grammar Workshop 15 September

University of Auckland senior lecturer Barbara Matthews will conduct a short workshop on language analysis for teachers on 15 September.

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CLESOL 2010 conference

The Community Languages and English for Speakers of Other Languages (CLESOL) 2010 conference will be held 1-4 October 2010 at King’s High School in Dunedin. The theme of the conference is Context and Communication: Mediating Language Learning, Te Horopaki me te Tuku: He Rongoā i te Ako Reo.

For registrations of interest, sponsorship and other enquiries email: or visit

TRCC Te Marautanga o Aotearoa training course

The Te Marautanga o Aotearoa training course, run by the Teachers’ Refresher Course Committee (TRCC), will be held on 2-6 October 2010 at St Margaret’s College & Camelot Motor Inn, Christchurch.

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Huia Te Reo – Māori Language Expo 2010

In 2010, the Māori Language Expo will take place from 8-9 October at the Energy Events Centre in Rotorua.

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Samoan Language Week 2011 dates announced

The dates for next year’s Samoan Language Week/Vaiaso o le Gagana Sāmoa have just been announced. In 2011, the week will run from Sunday 29 May to Saturday 4 June to again coincide with Samoan Independence Day on 1 June.

New Zealand Sign Language Teachers’ Association Conference 2010

The 11th National NZSLTA conference will be held at the Te Aro Campus of Victoria University, Wellington on 27-8 November 2010.

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For more information about the 'Te Waka Reo: National Language Policy Network', please contact Debbie Broughton at, or 04 471-6746.

Information about the New Zealand Diversity Action Programme is available at

The views contained in this newsletter do not necessarily represent the position of the Human Rights Commission.