Recently Statistic New Zealand released some of the language data set from the Census 2013. Here is the data analysed by region. We have split the regions to roughly match the Deaf Education Centre zones.
|All Ages||All Ages|
|Bay of Plenty Region||2,013||1,077||-46%|
|Hawke’s Bay Region||942||900||-4%|
|West Coast Region||228||117||-49%|
In the last seven years across New Zealand the number of NZSL users has dropped by 16%. Every region, with the exception of Wellington has experienced decline.The Wellington region result may be because of the concentration of NZSL users around the Deaf Studies Research Unit at Victoria University.
The Northern zone decline has been extraordinary. A 27% reduction represents a staggeringly large percentage drop.
This is important information for parents to consider when making language choices for their children. An NZSL only choice limits your child to being able to directly/easily communicate with a community of approximately the size of Masterton.