Board members

On 2 June 2015 the Minister for Disability Issues announced the appointment of the founding members of the NZSL Board.

The current NZSL Board members are:

  • Victoria Manning – (Chair of the Board) Ms Manning has been an active member of the Deaf community in various leadership roles in the Deaf community and promoting NZSL for over 20 years. She became a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to the disabled and Deaf communities in January 2015.
  • Sara Pivac Alexander – Mrs Pivac Alexander is a New Zealand Sign Language lecturer and a member of the Deaf Studies Research Unit at Victoria University of Wellington.
  • Richard Peri - Mr Peri is a teacher of New Zealand Sign Language and Te Reo sign, who has strong skills in leadership and communication. He has affiliations with Ngati Porou and Te Rarawa.
  • Bridget Ferguson - Ms Ferguson has been involved in the Deaf community and using New Zealand Sign Language for over 24 years as a professional sign language interpreter, a resource teacher of the Deaf, advisor on Deaf children and as a mother of a Deaf child. Ms Ferguson will be the Board representative for Deaf Aoteroa New Zealand.
  • Josje Lelijveld - Ms Lelijveld is the Vice President of the Deaf Society of Canterbury and is involved with several other advisory groups. Josje currently teaches New Zealand Sign Language at the University of Canterbury to students of Specialist Teaching (Deaf and Hearing Impaired).
  • Dr Rachel McKee - Dr McKee has 30 years of involvement in the New Zealand Sign Language community, in the roles of interpreter, Deaf Studies researcher and lecturer, and social participant in the community.
  • Shona Jones - Ms Jones has worked at the Kelston Deaf Education Centre (KDEC) for 14 years, initially as a teacher and more recently as the Pre-school Manager for the Centre. Shona has been involved in the deaf community all her life.
  • Chris Blum - Mr Blum has had extensive involvement in the deaf community in New Zealand. His experience ranges across the deaf community, including teaching NZSL at Auckland University of Technology, involvement in Deaf Mental Health Services, and the Friend for the Young Deaf leadership training.
  • Lee Bullivant - Mr Bullivant has wide experience in the deaf community, and brings to the NZSL Board an understanding of the issues facing New Zealand Sign Language users who are in regional towns or isolated communities.
  • Dr Kirsten Smiler - Dr Smiler is a Senior Māori Research Fellow at the Health Services Research Centre, Victoria University of Wellington. She has worked on numerous research projects around the area of Māori health and disability.

Note: Karen Pointon was also appointed to the NZSL Board as a founding member, but subsequently was unable to take up her membership.

NZSL Board members

Top row: Shona Jones, Bridget Ferguson, Dr Rachel McKee, Lee Bullivant, Dr Kirsten Smiler. Bottom row: Chris Blum, Richard Peri, Victoria Manning (Chair), Sara Pivac Alexander, Josje Lelijveld

Tell us what you think

Page last updated: