To: House of Representatives

Remove Official Language barriers by 2020 Elections

Remove Official Language barriers by 2020 Elections

We request the House of Representatives to guarantee the right of Deaf/Hard of hearing voters/candidates to barrier-free Elections by 2020.

Therefore we request the House of Representatives to update the Electoral Act 1993 and any relevant legislation to ensure the official languages of New Zealand have the legal means to be fully inclusive of New Zealand's Elections.

- Make available NZSL Interpreters for Electioneering (take participation in a campaign to be elected to public office - meet the candidates, multimedia election debates, campaign activities).

- Make available captioning for voters and candidates on all multimedia platforms (Television and Internet).

- Make available access to new technology (video interpreter services) during voting periods at polling booths.

Why is this important?

NZ's official languages are not being utilised enough during Elections. While this petition focuses on NZSL, we also support access through Te Reo.

Not for profit organisations and groups are having to beg for volunteers or use their own limited funding to cover the cost of NZSL/Te Reo Interpreters at Meet the Candidates events around the country.

This is unreasonable to expect NZSL Interpreters to give up their time to volunteer when they need to pay rent, rates, mortgages etc too.

This puts Deaf and Hard of Hearing voters/candidates in a position of having limited means of communication to ask questions or give presentations at these events.

TVNZ refusing to make available NZSL Interpreters on our state broadcasters Television Election Debates is a prime example of electoral prejudice against voters who depend on an official language to fully participate in a democratic progress.

Lets make Elections barrier-free for our official languages by 2020.

How it will be delivered

In person to the incoming parliament.

Reasons for signing

  • All of our official languages should be used. We are seriously behind in using signlanguage in all of our official televised communication.
  • NZ's official languages are not being utilised enough during Elections
  • It's a basic right to be able to make an informed vote.


2017-09-20 14:23:39 +1200

Livestream of tonight Final Leaders Debate - NZSL Interpreted

2017-09-17 13:55:32 +1200

Thank you everyone who signed the petition to date. Keep sharing it with your whanau and friends.

Have you got a personal story of election official language barriers you've experienced to share? Send it to us

Read Kim's story

2017-09-15 15:03:38 +1200

100 signatures reached

2017-09-14 19:44:59 +1200

50 signatures reached

2017-09-14 18:43:09 +1200

25 signatures reached

2017-09-14 17:51:26 +1200

10 signatures reached