Language Assistance Services

The Government facilitates access to language assistance services, such as interpreting and translation services, to help people with limited English language competence access public services and information.

Telephone Interpreting Service

A new telephone interpreting service, Ezispeak, is replacing Language Line from 1 October 2019. The service provides access to telephone interpreters 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in a multitude of languages. You can visit the provider’s website to learn about the new service features and how to join the new service.

Who can join the new telephone interpreting service through the government contract

Telephone interpreting services are provided through a new government contract.

All agencies generally entitled to purchase services under collaborative contracts are eligible to join the new contract directly, this includes: central government departments; crown entities; local government authorities and district health boards.

Agencies outside government, such as non-government and community organisations, primary health care providers and private businesses, are not able to join the new contract directly.

Next steps for eligible agencies

MBIE has contacted all eligible agencies currently using Language Line asking for information to speed up the sign up process with the new provider. If you haven’t yet done so, you should complete the form you received and return it to the contact indicated in the email as soon as possible.

Ezispeak will contact government agencies to provide a copy of the contract and finalise the sign up process so you will be able to use telephone interpreting services from 1 October 2019.

MBIE will move across to the new provider from 16 September 2019.

Details on how to sign up to the new telephone interpreting service are on Ezispeak’s website(external link). If you would like to speak with a member of the Ezispeak team, please contact the dedicated toll-free number on 0800 453 771.

How to check for eligibility

If you are unsure about your eligibility to join the new government contract, you should visit the Government procurement website and apply for eligibility.

You are encouraged to do this as soon as possible to check your agency is eligible to access the new telephone interpreting services.

Ezispeak’s website(external link) also includes information about checking for eligibility. If you would like to speak with a member of the Ezispeak team, please contact the dedicated toll-free number on 0800 453 771.

Next steps for non-eligible agencies

If your organisation is not eligible, you can contact:

  • A participating agency that you are currently contracting or engaging with and approach them about making telephone interpreting services procured through the new government contract available to them as a public service.
  • Ezispeak about accessing telephone interpreting services outside the government contract.
  • Other providers of telephone interpreting services.

Related information

Language Assistance Services Programme(external link)

For New Zealand Sign language Interpreting Services and other associated services, please visit link)

Last updated: 06 September 2019