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Ombudsman marks New Zealand Sign Language Week with new resources

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Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a series of New Zealand Sign Language resources to coincide with the start of New Zealand Sign Language Week 2021, today.

The videos were made in consultation with and for the Deaf community to enable them to engage with the Ombudsman more easily. They also recognise New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) as one of our three official languages alongside English and te reo Māori.

The videos feature a sign language interpreter and captions.

The first sets out the role of the Ombudsman and how his office can provide support to people dealing with central and local government.

The second provides information on a new service on the ‘contact the Ombudsman’ page of the Ombudsman’s website which enables NZSL users to contact the Office using their first language.

The third resource is a series of videos explaining the Official Information Act and providing advice and guidance for in those in the Deaf community using the Act to seek information from government agencies.

“I am delighted to launch these valuable resources to make my office accessible to more New Zealanders,” Peter Boshier said.

“Being able to contribute to our democratic process through the Official Information Act, and holding central and local government to account is crucial.

“The Office of the Ombudsman should be as inclusive as possible and we are always striving to achieve that. These videos are a small example of our commitment to that aim, and add to the NZSL resources already available on our website.”

Last year Peter Boshier took part in the NZSL Week Leaders Challenge, in which leaders in New Zealand learned and signed a brief message to show their support for NZSL Week.

You can watch the video here:

NZSL week is celebrated annually in May. It provides an opportunity for the Deaf community to raise the profile of the language, and for people to learn about Deaf culture.

This year’s theme is ‘New Zealand Sign Language is for everyone’.

Links to the resources released today are here:

What the Ombudsman can do in two minutes

Contact the Ombudsman (NZSL)

Quick guide to the Official Information Act (NZSL) playlist

  1. The Official Information Act (OIA)
  2. What is the purpose of the OIA?
  3. Who can make an OIA request?
  4. Who can I make an OIA request to?
  5. What information can I ask for?
  6. How do I make an OIA request?
  7. How long will an OIA request take?
  8. What does it cost to make an OIA request?
  9. Will I get the information I asked for in an OIA request?
  10. What if I’m unhappy with how my OIA request is handled?
  11. What does the Ombudsman do with complaints about OIAs?
  12. Where can I get information about the OIA?
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