Welcome to New Zealand






New Zealand Official Language


New Zealand Official Language

New Zealand Official Language

Some of New Zealand’s official languages are Te reo Māori and NZSL (New Zealand Sign Language). Because of its widespread use, the de facto official language of New Zealand is English. It is also the medium for learning and teaching in most of the country’s schools. Due to these reasons, special mention is given these three languages in The New Zealand Curriculum.

Native to Aotearoa New Zealand is Te reo Māori. It is a treasured thing or taonga (Maori) acknowledged under the Treaty of Waitangi, a principal source of the country’s identity and self-knowledge, and an official language.


By using and understanding Te reo Māori, there is an increased awareness for New Zealanders as to the role played by the native language and culture in asserting and defining their point of difference in the global world.

By studying te reo and becoming more and more intimate with tikanga (Maori customs and traditions), students of Māori strengthen their native identities, while those of non-Māori heritage travel towards shared ethnic understandings. All who study Te reo Māori aid in securing its future as a dynamic, living, and rich language. As they find out more about it, they come to treasure that diversity is fundamental to unity.


By studying Te reo Māori, students are capable of participating with confidence and understanding in circumstances where Maorui te reo and tikanga prevail and integrating cultural and language sympathies into their lives. They are also able to strengthen the identity of Aotearoa New Zealand internationally as well as widen their employment and entrepreneurial choices to include work in an always-increasing scope of legal, social, business, educational, and professional circumstances. NZSL is unique to New Zealand and it is a comprehensive language which is visual-nonverbal with its own vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure. Like most signed languages, it makes use of the hands, the rest of the body, and facial gestures (including mouth patterns) to convey meaning and the eyes to comprehend meaning. As with any language, it is able to communicate a countless number of thoughts.


Person to person interaction is especially crucial in NZSL since it has no written variant. There are, nevertheless, notational systems that are employed for putting down signs in writing.

New Zealand’s Deaf community primarily employs NZSL and those associated somehow with this group, such as non-deaf people who have relatives who are Deaf or people (like interpreters) who come in direct contact with Deaf people. Studying New Zealand Sign Language can be an enriching and positive experience for both hearing and deaf people of whatever age. By studying NZSL, Deaf children and hearing children with parents who are Deaf arrive at a sense of belonging in the community of the Deaf. For non-deaf students who want to learn another language, New Zealand Sign Language may be given as another selection beside the languages which are spoken and are available at their school.

NZ Official Language

In these cases, learning institutions need to confer with their Deaf communities and make sure that, whenever possible, students have access to role models who are Deaf and have NZSL as their primary language. Students need to have chances for sustained interactions with other NZSL users, and they must be exposed to role models of the language in a mixture of situations.



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