New Zealand Sign Language name of Whaikaha
A person signs the Whaikaha NZSL by starting with their left hand at chest height, with their palm facing outwards. Their hand moves up to head height while their hand turns inwards so their palm is facing towards themselves. While completing the sign they also mouth 'Whaikaha'.
Learn about our NZSL name
The one-handed sign for 'tree' which moves upwards to reflect the rātā vine, which is part of the Whaikaha visual brand and whakatauākī – “Me he aka rātā ka tipu tahi, ka puāwai tahi kia tū kaha i ngā hihi ō Tamanuiterā - Like the rātā vines growing together and flourishing to stand strong in the warmth of the sun’.
The process to choose a sign name included the development of three options by an NZSL expert group, which included people from the NZSL Board, te rōpū Kaitiaki, Deaf Aotearoa, Deaf Action and the Deaf Studies Research Unit (DSRU) at Victoria University of Wellington.
Our sign name was voted on by the Deaf community and gifted to Whaikaha - Ministry of Disabled People by the NZSL Board and representatives of the Deaf community at parliament on 29 June 2023.