A professionalism initiativePhotograph depicting an interpreter on the phone

Language Line has taken on the challenge of improving the interpreting sector in New Zealand.  The growth of the demand for interpreting in this country has been phenomenal and already there have been hundreds of thousands of requests. Language Line, which is itself subject to internal and external monitoring, has tried to contribute to better conditions for interpreters and consistency throughout the sector. This is necessary as the consequences of poor interpreting practice can be severe.

In practice, this takes the form of resources and regular professional development seminars. Let the Language Line team know if you would like to be notified about these.


Professional Development

Language Line has recognised the frequently solitary nature of interpreting work. In response it has run a series of professional development seminars where professional interpreters can hear expert views on relevant topics. As well, it is providing opportunities for interpreters to get together and to discuss some of the thornier areas of their work. Interpreters are then able to continue professional development in their own way. After the recent seminar at Unitec, Carrington Campus participants continue their discussions on LinkedIn - 'New Zealand based interpreters' group.

Upcoming Interpreter Seminars

New Plymouth - 1 October 2014

Seminars and highlights

That is just one of many outcomes from seminars and programmes that are arranged by the Office of Ethnic Affairs. See what Language Line’s manager Diana Clark says ethics are defined by what they are not.

Personal views of ethics

For interpreters confidentiality, privacy accuracy and neutrality are staples for the profession. But ethics can be personal and private. Individuals have to figure it out for themselves.


In many cases those who are interested in self help can apply for our publications. Please email us on

Language Line has developed a number of resources to assist officials use telephone interpreting in the most effective way and to support those teaching and studying interpreting.

  • Interpreting in New Zealand – The Pathway Forward is a book of essays from people knowledgeable about different aspects of interpreting.
  • Interpreting in New Zealand – Let’s Keep Talking (1.43mb PDF) is a new booklet which contains information for those using interpreting in their work
  • DVDs are available for those who train others to use interpreting

To order copies of the above resources please email us at:

As part of the initiative to provide resources and support for the growing interpreting profession in New Zealand, the Language Line team are developing a database which will provide information for those who wish to use interpreters. If you are interested in being included on this database, please email us on or phone 0800 656 656.

The personal information you are providing will be held by Language Line - Office of Ethnic Affairs for the purpose of communicating with you, for example to request information, seek your views on something, or send you an invitation. It may be passed onto other agencies so that they can contact you for similar reasons. If your details change, or you no longer want us to hold your details, please advise us by emailing or phone 0800 656 656.