NZSL Board Meeting Summary November 2023

Joanne Becker shares the key messages from the NZSL Board meeting, held in November 2023.
  • The Board funds up to 80 Sign Language Proficiency Interview (SLPI) assessments each year. These assessments are for adults to measure their overall NZSL proficiency. In August, the Board agreed to broaden the criteria to include NZSL community members. It is great to see lots of sign-ups for the assessment. If you would like to know more information about the service, please have a look at the SLPI website external.

  • The NZSL Strategy expires at the end of this year. Over the past three years, the Board has been gathering information from the community surveys, NZSL Act amendment consultation and Turi Māori hui to help inform a refreshed strategy. In 2024, the Board will meet with key government agencies to discuss how they can help us maintain and promote NZSL as part of the refreshed strategy.

  • In 2023, the Board funded six organisations for strategic projects to help maintain and promote NZSL. Details of the 2023 projects can be found on our website. The Board has now received reports to help guide future planning on how we can support NZSL learning and foster a collaborative approach to maintaining and promoting the use of NZSL.

  • Following advice from Whaikaha, the Board has decided to again pause the adoption of NAATI standards for NZSL interpreters. The Board has also directed Whaikaha to urgently provide advice on the suitability of the NAATI system for the NZSL community.
  • The Board wants to acknowledge Darryl Alexander for his work for the Board and the NZSL Office. We wish him all the best in his new role at Ministry of Education. While we are sad to see Darryl go, we are looking forward to seeing who the successful applicants are for the Advisor and Senior Advisor roles in the NZSL Office.

  • The Office for Disability Issues (ODI) has been integrated into Whaikaha – Ministry of Disabled People. They will continue their important work as part of the Policy, Strategy and Partnerships Group in Whaikaha. The New Zealand Sign Language Board and the NZSL Office will remain the same.

  • The Board met welcomed Sheryl Pinckney who has joined Whaikaha as Group Manager Partnerships and Stewardship. We look forward to working with Sheryl, and have already met with her to discuss the work we do as a Board.

  • Finally, thank you to all those people we have worked beside us, those who have challenged us, and those with whom we have shared success and been able to acknowledge progress. The Board want to wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and an excellent summer filled with health, wealth, and joy. Our next meeting will be in March 2024.