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Sign language should be officially recognised in parliament

Sign language should be officially recognised in parliament

New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) should be officially recognised in parliament’s Standing Orders as a part of the current review, the Green Party said today.

In today’s submission to the Standing Orders review, the Green Party is asking for NZSL to be recognised as an official language within parliament’s rules. The Green Party is also pushing for improvements to legislative quality and transparency in decision-making.

“NZSL is recognised as an official language outside of parliament, and it’s time for it to have the same recognition within parliament,” said Green Party MP Mojo Mathers.

“Recognising NZSL in parliament’s rules and providing for it to be used in the House would show a strong commitment to the importance of NZSL as an official language in New Zealand.

“We’re also encouraging parliament to start planning towards offering simultaneous interpretation into NZSL, particularly for Question Time, to make sure that parliament is accessible to more New Zealanders,” said Ms Mathers.

The Green Party’s submission also includes recommendations to restore public confidence in the law-making process and to ensure robust decision-making, following examples from this parliament where significant laws have been rushed through parliament without public scrutiny.

“The Green Party has positive solutions, including strengthening Bill of Rights reporting and encouraging select committee scrutiny of substantive amendments, that will help to improve legislative quality,” said Green Party musterer Gareth Hughes.

“We also want to see best practice guidelines developed for MPs on how to handle lobbying communications and to make it a requirement of the Speaker to disclose who has swipe-card access to parliament.

“The Green Party wants parliament to be more accessible, more transparent and more democratic,” said Mr Hughes.

Green Party submission to the Standing Orders Review - https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/standing_orders_review_-_green_party_submission.pdf

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