Deaf community disappointed by lack of NZSL during anthems before Rugby World Cup game


Wednesday 12th October

Deaf community disappointed by lack of NZSL during anthems before Rugby World Cup game

Deaf Aotearoa worked closely with New Zealand Rugby and the Rugby World Cup organisers to arrange the signing of the national anthems in New Zealand Sign Language and Australian Sign Language (Auslan) live on the field at Eden Park for the first time during the Black Ferns game against Australia on the weekend.

However, the organisation, along with the Deaf community, has been left very disappointed after the Picture in Picture box showing the sign language translations of the anthems was left off the broadcast feed in New Zealand.

Lachlan Keating, Chief Executive of Deaf Aotearoa, says, “We are all really proud of Emmie and Natasha for the beautiful job they did signing the anthems, and it was such a shame to see it had been missed that this wasn’t shown on screen in New Zealand after all the hard work that went into setting this up. This sort of inclusion really matters and helps NZSL to be familiar with hearing Kiwis and, more importantly, ensures Deaf people can enjoy significant moments like the anthem being sung before a big game.”

The feed was shown in Australia and other international countries, and Deaf Aotearoa was grateful to members of the international Deaf community who shared the videos across to New Zealand after the game, which were then shared to Deaf Aotearoa’s Facebook page.

“We have spoken to representatives at Spark Sport who were responsible for this feed here in New Zealand and they have explained it was an unintentional mistake, and they are apologetic for this mishap. We hope to see a smoother process in the future that will ensure NZSL will start to feature during all major live sporting events broadcast here in New Zealand.”

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For more information and interviews, contact:

Sarah Jesson

Breath PR
021 0272 2076

Lachlan Keating

Deaf Aotearoa
021 540 172

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