Proposed changes to NZSL Video Interpreting and Relay Services

Days left

Submissions due: 15 April 2019, 9am

We are working with the Office for Disability Issues to modernise New Zealand Sign Language video interpreting and relay services. We want to know what you and your whānau think about proposed changes to the services.

NZSL Video - Proposed changes to NZSL Video Intepreting and Relay Services(external link)

NZSL Video - Proposed changes to NZSL Video Interpreting and Relay Services.

About the consultation

We want to know what you think about some changes we’re proposing to the NZSL video interpreting and relay services. These services are part of the Telecommunications Relay Service, which helps deaf, deafblind, hearing-impaired and speech-impaired New Zealanders to communicate with hearing people over the phone.

The six proposed changes are:

  1. get you to register as a user
  2. make the Video Interpreting Service more available
  3. move to digital text-based relay services
  4. phase out CapTel equipment
  5. stop using Teletypewriter (TTY) equipment
  6. stop speech-to-speech services

View the joint announcement in NZSL by the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, and the Minister for Disability Issues.(external link)

Read the press release on the Beehive website.(external link)

More information

You can find more information in the Cabinet Paper.

Cabinet paper: NZSL Video Interpreting and Relay Services Consultation [PDF, 174 KB]


Workshops will be held in five locations around the country from March to April 2019.

  • Hamilton: CCS Disability Action, 17 Claudelands Rd - Tuesday, 19 March - 5pm to 6:30pm
  • Wellington: Knox Church, 574 High St, Lower Hutt - Wednesday, 20 March 2019 - 6pm to 7:30pm
  • Auckland: Potters Park Events Centre, 164/166 Balmoral Road, Mount Eden - Monday, 25 March 2019 - 6pm to 7:30pm
  • Dunedin: Otago Deaf Centre, 68 Manor Place - Thursday, 28 March 2019 - 5pm to 6:30pm
  • Christchurch: Canterbury Deaf Society, 80 Fitzgerald Ave - Monday, 1 April 2019 - 5pm to 6.30pm

The workshops will be about 90 minutes, starting with a short presentation before an open discussion where participants can provide feedback on the proposed changes. Light refreshments will be provided, and New Zealand Sign Language interpreters will be available. Advise us of any other accessibility needs you might have.

RSVP for the workshop if you would like to attend.

How to make a submission

Find out about the proposed changes by watching the NZSL video, or looking at the Discussion document or Summary document (links at the top of this page) and give us your feedback. You can give your feedback in two ways:



Communications Policy
Building, Resources and Markets
Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
PO Box 1473
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

Tell us your name and your email address or street address when sharing your views.

Closing date: We will need to get your feedback by 9am, Monday 15 April 2019.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss, email