NZ Sign Language for final leaders debate a great way to kick off International Week of the Deaf

NZ Sign Language for final leaders debate a great way to kick off International Week of the Deaf

September 18, 2017

The Human Rights Commission has welcomed the news that for the first time a NZ Sign language version of the final leaders’ 1News debate will be available this year. The signed debate will be available for streaming via the channel’s On Demand function after this week’s live debate. Live captioning will continue for this week’s final debate. 

“As we join the rest of the world to mark International Week of the Deaf, this is a significant outcome we can all be proud of,” said Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero. 

“The ability for deaf New Zealanders to participate in the democratic process will be strengthened by this development.”

“This is a great step towards including more NZ Sign Language in television.”

Today’s announcement followed ongoing talks between the Human Rights Commission, TVNZ, and Deaf Aotearoa in recent weeks. 

“I also acknowledge the work of Deaf Action who have also worked to raise the visibility of this issue”.

This week marks the 59th year since the world has marked International Week of the Deaf.  Thousands of activities will take place in a global advocacy bid to raise awareness about the deaf community at individual, community and governmental level. 

“This year’s International Week of the Deaf’s theme - ‘Full Inclusion with Sign Language!’ – is epitomised by today’s announcement that will enable New Zealanders to see a signed version of a leaders debate for the first time in our country’s history.” 

Over the years, the disability sector has worked  closely with the Electoral Commission to make it easier for people to enrol and vote in general elections. The Electoral Commission website ( has a section Enrol and vote with a disability . For any aspect of assistance/support in voting, you can contact the Register of Electors in your area . There are other options for voting too if you are unable to get to a voting place on Election Day. Again, see the Electoral Commission website/contact them. For full information, including where and when you can vote and who you can vote for, go to or call 0800 36 76 56.

Human Rights Commission