NZ Sign Language interpreters assist Deaf people to access information and support, and participate more fully in society.
What does an interpreter do?
Many Deaf people use New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) as their first or preferred language.
A sign language interpreter facilitates communication between Deaf and hearing people by interpreting between NZSL and spoken language. This helps to ensure Deaf people have access to services and can participate more easily in society.
An interpreter’s role is to facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing participants, not to be involved in a meeting or appointment in any other way.
The Sign Language Interpreters Association of New Zealand (SLIANZ) is a professional body that sets a code of conduct and/or code of ethics, including requiring interpreters to maintain confidentiality and impartiality.
What interpreter services are available?
There are a number of interpreter booking agencies. Some are specialised booking agencies for NZSL interpreters, while provide others provide a range of language interpreters, including NZSL interpreters.
iSign is an NZSL interpreter booking service provided by Deaf Aotearoa. It provides qualified NZSL interpreters for jobs around New Zealand. iSign’s NZSL interpreters are members of SLIANZ.
iSign provides on-site face-to-face interpreters, which is generally the most appropriate way to ensure full accessibility and participation.
Connect Interpreting is a nationwide service providing sign language interpreting services for all types of assignments. This service only contracts qualified interpreters who are SLIANZ members.
WordsWorth Interpreting provides onsite and online NZSL interpreter bookings and interpreter coordination throughout Aotearoa New Zealand for all types of assignment, including specialised subject areas.
Interpreting New Zealand is a general interpreter booking agency that includes NZSL interpreters.
New Zealand Relay offers a video sign language interpreting service, and other relay services for people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, speech‑impaired, or Deaf‑blind.
(New Zealand VIS, 2016)
Who pays for health-related interpreter services?
Your local health service is responsible for paying for interpreters for health appointments at services provided in public health, such as public hospital appointments. The iSign service covers other health-related appointments, such as seeing your GP or going to a private hospital.
Who pays for other interpreter services?
For other services not mentioned here, it is expected that organisations pay for NZSL interpreting services as part of ensuring access for all New Zealanders and recognising New Zealand Sign Language as an official language of New Zealand.
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The following links provide further information about NZ Sign Language interpreters.
A guide to working with NZSL interpreters New Zealand Sign Language Board
Hearing and vision services Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People, NZ
Sign Language Interpreters Association of New Zealand (SLIANZ) SLIANZ maintains a national directory of qualified members, which contains contact information for interpreters as well as their speciality areas. This list can be searched by name, region or work preference.
- Hearing and vision services Whaikaha Ministry of Disabled People, NZ
- Interpreter directory Sign Language Interpreters Association of New Zealand (SLIANZ)