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Audio And Sign Language Guides Bring He Tohu To Life For Tamariki And Young Adults

Audio and Sign Language Guides, in seven languages including sign, will enhance the experience for visitors to National Library’s He Tohu exhibition.

Audio and Sign Language Guides are available for visitors to the National Library’s He Tohu exhibition. Credit: Mark Beatty/ National Library of New Zealand

The Audio and Sign Language Guides of He Tohu, the permanent exhibition featuring He Whakaputanga - Declaration of Independence, Treaty of Waitangi and Women’s Suffrage Petition, also takes in surrounding exhibits on the ground floor.

The Guides, available on iPods, are part of a refresh of the He Tohu campaign, with billboards and posters featuring younger faces, showing the relevance and importance today of the three key exhibits.

While youth are the targeted demographic with changes to the school curriculum taking place from next year, the suite of languages will appeal to all visitors. The Guides are available in NZ Sign Language, Te Reo Māori, English, Mandarin Chinese, French, German and Portuguese.

“Using modern technology to bring these historic documents to life adds another layer of depth to our learning and understanding of their importance,” says National Library Director Public Engagement, Tui Te Hau.

“Feedback has been really positive and having the te reo Māori option is important in honouring the bicultural principles set out in the Treaty of Waitangi.

“It’s critical we engage with tamariki and young adults in the 14 to 25-year age group, so their He Tohu experience educates them and makes them want to learn more about our history. The Guides really do that in a simple and interesting way.

“The wider campaign adds to that, with younger faces promoting these three key documents really a nod to the leaders of tomorrow and the relevance of these documents in the 21st century.”

The Sign Language Guide was created with assistance from New Zealand Sign Language For You (NZSL4U), an organisation that empowers the use of Te Reo Rotarota (NZ Sign Language).

“We are really thankful for the collaboration with NZSL4U, particularly Shannon Morris and Tarsha Takarangi-Berry who feature in the Sign Language component. The other voices you hear in the languages are National Library staff.

“It’s all about ensuring all visitors can easily access the services and information they need.”

Twenty iPods featuring the Guides are available to use, with the He Tohu exhibition free entry.

The public launch takes place next week (NB: 29 November).


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