Help in your language

When you first arrive in New Zealand, you may need some help with using English for important information or conversations.

You will need to learn English to live here and there are several services that can help you.

CAB Language Connect

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

To get in touch:

  • phone 0800 788 877 (within New Zealand)
  • phone +64 9 624 2550 (if you are still overseas)
  • or email language@cab.org.nz

Languages available are Arabic, Burmese, Cantonese, Dari, Farsi, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, Kurdish, Mandarin, Nepali, Russian, Spanish, Taiwanese, Tamil and Urdu.

Get help in your language | CAB Language Connect

Interpreting (spoken word)

Language line

Language line is a free telephone-based interpreting service used by many government agencies and some doctors and city councils. Check the Office of Ethnic Communities website for information about how to use Language line. 

You can phone them on 0800 656 656 or, from overseas, +64 4 495 9448.

How Language Line works | Office of Ethnic Communities

Interpreting New Zealand

Interpreting New Zealand can help with finding an interpreter.

Fact sheets about using an interpreter are available on the Interpreting New Zealand website. Information is available in Amharic, Arabic, Assyrian, Burmese, English, 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.

Search NZSTI | NZSTI

Driver licence

If your overseas driver licence or permit is not in English, you will need an accurate English translation. The NZ Transport Authority (NZTA) website has a list of authorised translation services and other acceptable options.

Finding an approved translator | NZTA

Qualifications documents

If the documents supporting the qualifications you have gained outside New Zealand are not in English, you will 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 are not in English must be translated. The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) website has a list of approved translation services.

Approved Translation Agencies | DIA

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Page last updated: 08/09/2017

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