Using Trained Interpreters

Serving the Community

Our services focus on refugee and new migrant groups. Our interpreters are usually native speakers of the languages they interpret. They are sensitive to community customs and needs. We aim to supply a culturally appropriate interpreter for each circumstance. We also provide qualified NZ Sign Language interpreters for the Deaf.


Interpreters are booked by government agencies or private businesses, such as law firms. Their services are generally free to the non-English speaker. This reflects New Zealand’s human rights legislation and the Health and Disability Commissioner's Code of Rights, which promote people's right to effective communication. Our interpreters serve hospitals, health centres, courts, tribunals, police, immigration, housing, and wider local and central government organisations.


We can provide interpreters for embassies, international delegations or special interest groups containing non-English speakers. We also provide interpreting services to private individuals e.g. to consult an accountant or other advisor. Please contact us to talk about special assignments. Quotes are available on request.

Advantages of Trained Interpreters

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A trained interpreter will ensure:


• Accuracy

• Impartiality

• Confidentiality

• Equal access to services

• Effective communication

• Meaning, emotion, and register conveyed

• The agency professional and the client control the interview

• An explanation of any factors from either culture which could lead to misunderstanding or lack of desired response


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We Train Our Own Interpreters

We insist on employing only interpreters who are trained and assessed as competent.  Because there is no formal training for interpreters available in New Zealand outside of Auckland, we run our own training, based on academic and interpreting best practice.  If interpreters have completed formal training elsewhere, we ask them to undertake our final course assessment to determine if they meet our standards.

In this PDF, we outline our training and recruitment process: How do you know if you have a well-trained interpreter?

How to Use Our Service

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General Instructions


• Talk directly to your client as if you speak the same language

• Speak clearly, with frequent breaks

• Don’t interrupt or talk over others

• Don’t ask the interpreter to step out of role, e.g. to give an opinion




• Sit opposite the non-English speaking client

• Position the interpreter at an equal distance from you both




• Use a speaker phone if possible

• Wait while the interpreter is connected to the call




• Position the video camera in a location that will capture both parties

• Wait while the interpreter is connected to the call


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The True Expense of Using Untrained Interpreters

If you think it is expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.

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