Accessing an interpreter when calling government services
It is the government agency’s responsibility to make sure its services are accessible. This includes providing professional interpreters to the public for free.
How to get an interpreter:
- Call the government agency.
- Ask for an interpreter and tell the person on the phone the language you speak. You will need to ask in English, so practise saying the words ‘interpreter’ and the English name for your language before you call.
- You will be asked to wait. Stay on the phone - do not hang up.
- If available, a professional interpreter will join to help you. Government agencies may need to book interpreters in advance for some languages.
If you require an interpreter for a face-to-face or video conference meeting, email the agency beforehand to ensure an interpreter is available.
Many government agencies and councils can assist you with interpreting support. Find the full list at: www.mbie.govt.nz/language-assistance-services/participating-agencies
If you have questions or concerns about accessing government interpreting services, email us at email@example.com
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- አማርኛ | Amharic
- Arabic | عربي
- မြန်မာစာ | Burmese
- 简体中文 | Chinese (Simplified)
- 繁體中文 | Chinese (Traditional)
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- ગુજરાતી | Gujarati
- हिन्दी | Hindi
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- 日本語 | Japanese
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- ਪੰਜਾਬੀ | Punjabi
- Af-Soomaali | Somali
- Español | Spanish
- தமிழ் | Tamil
- ภาษาไทย | Thai
- ትግርኛ | Tigrinya
- Urdu | اُردُو
The Department of Internal Affairs provides professional translation and other language services.
- quality assessment
- cultural advice to businesses, central and local government, and private individuals
They can help if you:
- are applying for Immigration or Citizenship
- need to communicate information to non-English speaking communities in New Zealand or around the world
- need documents translated for legal, employment or travel purposes