Help in your language

When you first arrive in the country you may need some help with using English for important information or conversations.

You will need to learn English to live here, but until you do there are several services available to help.

CAB Language Connect

Language Connect is a support service in your language run by the Citizens Advice Bureau. CAB Language Connect is free, independent and confidential.

Phone 0800 788 877 or, from overseas, +64 9 624 2550; or email

Languages available are Amharic, Arabic, Bengali, Burmese, Cantonese, Dari, Farsi, Filipino, French, Hindi, Japanese, Kirundi, Kiswahili, Korean , Kurdish , Mandarin , Russian, Sinhala , Samoan , Spanish, Taiwanese, Tamil, Urdu and Vietnamese.

Get help in your language | CAB Language Connect

Interpreting (spoken word)

Language line

Language line is free telephone based  interpreting service used by many government agencies, some doctors and city councils. Check the Office of Ethnic Affairs website for information about how to use Language line. You can phone them on 0800 656 656 or, from overseas, on +64 4 495 9448

How Language Line works | Office of Ethnic Affairs

Interpreting New Zealand

Interpreting New Zealand can help with finding an interpreter.

Fact sheets about using an interpreter are available in the Interpreting New Zealand website. Information is available in Amharic, Arabic, Assyrian, Burmese, Farsi, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Nepali, Samoan, Simplified Chinese, Somali and Spanish.

Resources | Interpreting NZ

Translation services (written word)

Search for a translator or interpreter on the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters website.


Drivers licence

If your overseas driver licence or permit isn't in English you will also need an accurate English translation. The NZ Transport Authority website has a list of authorised translation services and other acceptable options.

Finding an approved translator | NZ Transport Agency

Qualifications documents

If the documents supporting the qualifications you’ve received outside New Zealand aren’t in English, you’ll need to provide a translation of them. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority has details and a list of recommended translation services. 

Translation of documents | NZQA

Citizenship applications

Documents required for citizenship applications that aren’t in English must be translated. The Department of Internal Affairs website has a list of approved translation services.

Approved Translation Agencies | Department of Internal Affairs

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Page last updated: 20/07/2017

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