NZSL is the natural language of Deaf New Zealanders and is used daily by more than 20,000 Kiwis. Sign Language Week, Te Wiki O Te Reo Turi, celebrates one of New Zealand’s three official languages.

This year's theme is "Together we can make NZSL thrive"

NZSL became an official language in 2006. This was after many years of lobbying from the Deaf community, supported by an MP, Ruth Dyson who was a champion for the community’s efforts. In 2007 the first NZSL Week was celebrated.

NZSL Week is a chance for the Deaf community to stand proud as Deaf, and to celebrate their language and culture. It also works to break down barriers, fears and misconceptions. NZSL Week lets Deaf New Zealanders put their hands up and be seen!

Try the 7 minutes signing challenge

It’s simple, from the 8th to the 14th of May, make an effort to get involved in signing. You might simply challenge yourself to learn 7 signs, that’s 1 sign a day, or you could push yourself to try out the seven minutes of signing each day throughout the week – 7 minutes where you turn your voice off and put your NZSL skills to the test!

You can sign with your friends, colleagues or in the classroom, the choice is yours! Give it a go!

To learn more about NZSL Week, head to and check out these great learning resources.

Other Useful Websites


Published on 5 May 2023

Orderdate: 5 May 2023
Expiry: 5 May 2025