Language Assistance Services
MBIE is establishing a new comprehensive model to deliver language assistance services across the public sector.
This is part of the Language Assistance Services Programme, which was established in 2017 to implement the recommendations of a comprehensive review of the provision of interpreting and other language assistance services cross the public sector. The programme, which is co-led by MBIE and DIA, seeks to provide equitable access to public services and information for non-English speaking clients such as refugees and migrants for examples.
Telephone/Video Interpreting Service
A new Telephone Interpreting Service for government agencies replaced Language Line on 1 October 2019. This service is provided by ezispeak and helps government agencies to communicate with clients with limited English to through telephone interpreters available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in over 180 languages.
From 1 December 2020 the Telephone Interpreting Service includes video interpreting services provided through the zoom platform. You can visit the provider’s website to learn about the new service features.
Check for eligibility
The Telephone/Video Interpreting Service is available to participating government agencies through a government contract.
All agencies generally entitled to purchase services under collaborative contracts (e.g. central government departments, crown entities, local government authorities and district health boards) are eligible to join this contract.
If you are unsure about your eligibility to join this contract, you should visit the Government procurement website and if necessary apply for eligibility.
Join the TIS/VIS through the government contract
If are new to the Telephone/Video Interpreting Service and would like to join, you need to check the eligibility information first.
If you are eligible, complete the request form and return it to email@example.com.
If you have already joined the Telephone Interpreting Service through the government contract and would like to access video interpreting services, complete the request form and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Access telephone/video interpreting services separately from the government contract
If you are an agency outside government and are unable to join the government contract directly, you can contact:
- ezispeak about accessing telephone interpreting services separately from the government contract.
- The agency you may be contracted by or engaging with, as participating agencies can make telephone/video interpreting services available to ineligible organisations. However, they need to cover the costs directly as they would be unable to on-charge the service to you.
- Other providers of telephone interpreting services.
The TIS/VIS provided by ezispeak provides telephone/video interpreters in over 180 languages including te reo Māori, but excluding New Zealand Sign Language.
For New Zealand Sign language Interpreting Services and other associated services, please visit the NZ Relay website(external link).