Terms of Reference for the NZSL Week Advisory Group

The purpose of this Terms of Reference is to set out the working arrangements for the NZSL Week Advisory Group and includes the group’s purpose, membership, meeting schedule, and roles and responsibilities.

1. Purpose

The purpose of the New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) Week Advisory Group is to provide advice, ideas, and different perspectives for Deaf Aotearoa to consider in the planning and provision of NZSL Week each year. This will help ensure continual improvement in the promotion of NZSL to the public and connection to the Deaf community to whom the language belongs.

2. Term

This Terms of Reference is effective from 1st April 2021 and is effective for the duration of this group’s establishment.

The standard term for each Advisory Group member is 3 years, except for the NZSL Week Coordinator, which is a permanent appointment to the group.

3. Membership

The NZSL Week Advisory Group will comprise of 6 members:

  • NZSL Week Coordinator, Deaf Aotearoa
  • Deaf staff member, Deaf Aotearoa
  • Deaf staff member, Deaf Aotearoa
  • Three Deaf community members

Desirable skills and attributes for members are:

  • Personal experience using NZSL in the Deaf community.
  • A wide knowledge of NZSL users and a critical awareness of language issues in the Deaf community.
  • Active linkages with the Deaf community, families with D/deaf members, and other NZSL users.
  • A ‘big picture” mindset, ability to think “outside the box” to provide fresh and new ideas.
  • An ability to work cooperatively as part of a group.
  • Sound judgement.

All members of the Advisory Group must be a member of Deaf Aotearoa.

4. Appointment processes

Deaf Aotearoa will advertise call for expressions of interest from potential members and will follow an appointment process based on the desirable skills and attributes (above).

5. Roles, Responsibilities and Functions

The advisory group is responsible for:

  • Encouraging and celebrating NZSL Week’s success.
  • Fostering collaboration and constructive feedback.
  • Maintaining the focus of the Advisory Group on the agreed scope, outcomes, and benefits.
  • Referring any enquiries/issues/feedback members may have received from the

Deaf community or the public in relation to NZSL Week to the Advisory Group for

The members of the Advisory Group will commit to:

  • Attending all Advisory Group meetings.
  • Sharing all communications and information across all Advisory Group members.

Members of the Advisory Group will expect:

  • That each member will be provided with complete, accurate and useful information in a timely manner.
  • Open and constructive discussions
  • Ongoing ‘checks’ to review the overall status and effectiveness of the Advisory Group.

6. Meetings

All meetings will be chaired by the NZSL Week Coordinator.

The Advisory Group provides ideas, advice, and perspectives to the NZSL Week Coordinator and thus to Deaf Aotearoa. On any matters related to activities that Deaf Aotearoa is contracted to deliver, Deaf Aotearoa make the final decisions on implementation and approach based on all information and feedback.

Meeting agendas and minutes will be provided by Deaf Aotearoa, this includes: supporting papers and other relevant information.

Meetings will be held 4 times a year for 2 hours at Deaf Aotearoa’s National Office meeting room. Any travel and catering expenses will be covered by Deaf Aotearoa and must be agreed in advance. Face to face meeting will be preferred but the Advisory Group may also conduct meetings via Zoom.

7. Amendment, Modification or Variation

This Terms of Reference may be amended, varied, or modified in writing after consultation with the Advisory Group and by agreement with Deaf Aotearoa.