Deaf education in New Zealand is currently going through a merger process designed to deliver and achieve positive outcomes for our students in partnership with families. The naming of our new national school is an exciting milestone in our journey as we move towards its opening at the beginning of Term 3.
I’m thrilled to let you know our new school and network of services will be called Ko Tāku Reo.
Ko Tāku Reo takes inspiration from the whakatauki “Ko taku reo taku ohooho, ko taku reo taku mapihi mauria”, which means “my language is my awakening, my language is the window to my soul.”
Ko Tāku Reo is not a direct translation, rather it evolves that whakatauki to say “my language is the plume of my identity.”
As a new school entirely focused on nurturing the wellbeing of New Zealand’s Deaf and hard of hearing children, this describes us perfectly.
I’m sure you’re all very keen to know the sign name for Ko Tāku Reo, which you can watch here https://vimeo.com/395847682/cb0d6c6903
Our sign name communicates the growth and expression of identity and language.
The classifier for feathers, represents the ‘plume’ (mentioned above). You’ll note it’s the same place as signs for Pride and Mana, as well as being symbolic of the wearing of a Maori cloak. For our community, it also signifies the importance of tapping the shoulder to politely ask for someone’s attention.
Our name has been decided following extensive consultation with students, staff and stakeholders, including the wider Deaf community and iwi to ensure it was appropriate.
The consultation clearly showed a need to reflect our proud tri-lingual language tradition (NZSL, English and Maori). I’m so pleased our new name does exactly that.
I’d like to thank all of you who took the time to participate in the consultation. Because of your input we now have a beautiful name that clearly and respectfully identifies us, while reflecting our new national direction and service.
You can read more about the name and its pronunciation here.
Dr Denise Powell
Chair – Combined Board of Trustees
1.Lifting student wellbeing and academic achievement.
2. Delivering a nationwide service which is holistic, accessible, equitable and efficient.
3. Utilising student data, evidence and research to inform high quality teaching, learning and resourcing.
4. Build and maintain strong, collaborative relationships with students, family/whanau, the Deaf community, the wider education community and other external stakeholders.
5. Build and maintain strong collaborative relationship.
6. Use and manage financial resources to provide the maximum educational benefit.
7. Align property and infrastructure to support nationwide delivery.