Reinstate NZ Sign Language interpretation of House of Representatives sittings
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To the Speaker of the House of Representatives,
We the undersigned request that the Speaker of the House of Representatives reinstate New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Interpretation of all the sittings of the House of Representatives using resources that are currently available within New Zealand.
It is essential that citizens of this country are able to access all matters and decisions by the House of Representatives that effects everything New Zealand citizens do in their official first language, whether it's in Te Reo Maori, New Zealand Sign Language or English.
The House of Representatives is the highest legislation-making body in this country, it is essential that citizens of NZ are able to access the discussions and decisions of our elected Representatives in our official languages.
Currently the House of Representatives is only accessible in English (spoken and captioned) and Te Reo Maori (spoken).
For a short time, Question Time was accessible in New Zealand Sign Language.
Members of the New Zealand Deaf community were disappointed that the NZSL interpretation of Question Time during the House of Representative sittings was discontinued last year in October without further community consultation.
Despite the lack of interest in the tendering progress that was done, members of the NZSL community have come forward with a desire to fill in this absence.
Various individuals have raised the need for NZSL access to the House Sittings in the past.
The Speaker of the House stated that they will only review this matter in 12 months. The NZSL Community shouldn't have to wait for 12 months for this to be resolved.
Our highest decision making body must ensure that our official languages are accessible without delay within the House of Representatives.
This petition will be handed to Dr Shane Reti - National (Disability Issues spokesperson) on February 6th 2019 to be presented to Parliament.
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