Changes are coming to New Zealand’s Relay Services:

From 1 February 2021, you will experience changes to the way you access and use NZ’s Relay Services.

Find out more about these upcoming changes on the NZ Relay website at:

In the meantime, the current relay services will remain available as usual up until 31 January 2021.

From 1 February 2021, you will experience changes to the way you access and use NZ’s Relay Services. A new-look website will combine all services in one place, including the Video Interpreting Service.

You can find out more about these upcoming changes on the NZ Relay website at:

This webpage will continue to be updated over the coming months with key information and helpful resources, including educational videos, guides and additional FAQs. Please continue to check back regularly for updates.

In the meantime, the current relay services will remain available as usual up until 31 January 2021.

  • It is free for Deaf people!
  • Communicate effectively and efficiently through a qualified NZSL Interpreter.
  • Access NZSL interpreters when no locally-based interpreters are available.
  • All meetings are confidential, and no records of conversations are ever kept at the VIS centre.
  • Video Interpreting provides access in most situations, even those where interpreters would not normally be funded

No, both services offered by VIS are free.

Visit this page for more information: Click here

Or contact us:

TTY 0800 4713713
VOICE 0800 4877877
FAX 0800 4329697

Yes, if an interpreter is available you can access an interpreting session for up to 20 mins without booking.

Yes. When you reach an answering machine, you may leave a message with the Video Relay number and your telephone number for the other party to call back.

  • Any conversations utilizing a video interpreter or made through a video relay call will be private and confidential.
  • Government agencies have very strict privacy rules. Government agencies, staff and interpreters that work for us, are required to treat your information confidentially.
  • Service is available on Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Service is available on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Service is open on public holidays.
  • If you booked your NZSL interpreting session with a government agency:
  1. When you arrive, someone will be there to help prepare you for your appointment.
  2. You will be taken into a room with videoconference equipment.
  3. You will be shown where to sit in front of the camera.
  4. The government agency’s staff will sit near you.
  5. You will be able to choose if you want to see yourself on the screen.
  6. The government agency’s staff will connect to the interpreter, and you will be able to see them on the screen.
  7. You will have a brief discussion with the government agency’s staff and the interpreter prior to proceeding to make sure you are comfortable and able to see and understand each other clearly.
  8. Once everyone is comfortable, the appointment will start.
  9. The interpreter will talk with you and the government agency’s staff as if you were with them in the same room.
  • If you did not book your NZSL interpreting session with a government agency:
  • You (or the person you are meeting) will need access to the Internet so you can use Skype or the system  they have chosen on the booking form.
  • Arrive 5–10 minutes before the meeting is due to start so you can make sure that you can access the Internet, open Skype if you need to, or make sure the person you’re meeting has the equipment they want to use ready.
  • When you’re ready to start:
    • If you’re using Skype, place a video call to the VIS contact you have been given.
    • If the person you’re meeting with has another access method, they should place the call using that.
  • Once you’ve connected with the interpreter, you can carry on as if the interpreter is in the room with you. 

You can access remote video interpreting services from your computer, tablet or laptop on Skype, or use PolyCom or Cisco videoconference systems. Although the service is accessible by smartphone it isn’t recommended due to poor visual quality.

  • Provides communication access for Deaf people when on-site interpreters are not available, particularly in rural areas where qualified interpreters are less accessible.
  • Access to quality communication
  • Interpreters available for most settings between 8 am and 8pm, Monday to Friday
  • Instant availability where possible for up to 20 minutes without booking.
  • Effective use of resources
  • Successful meetings
  1. Situations with high interactivity, such as multiple participants with less structured turn-taking protocol.
  2. Situations involving individuals with a secondary disability (e.g., low vision) that impedes the ability to utilize technology.
  3. Situations involving young children or those with underdeveloped language/idiosyncratic language patterns.
  4. Situations that are highly emotionally charged.
  5. When the only internet connection available is dial up.
  • To communicate between hearing and Deaf people
  • To act in a responsible, professional manner at all times
  • Maintain confidentiality and not disclose any information obtained while interpreting
  • Interpreters do not offer their own personal opinions when interpreting
  • Be competent and have a high level of accuracy in order to interpret correctly
  • Maintain impartiality during any interpreted encounter
  • All NZ Relay video interpreters (VIs) are qualified with a diploma in New Zealand Sign Language/English Interpreting as a minimum and are members of the Sign Language Interpreters Association of New Zealand (SLIANZ)
  • Before the appointment or meeting, send the interpreter any preparation materials that will be useful as background knowledge
  • Speak and look directly at the Deaf person not the interpreter
  • Allow the interpreter to request clarification
  • Any conversations you have through a video interpreter will be private and confidential and all interpreters are bound both by the ethics of their profession and their professional body, SLIANZ
  • Yes. Calls to cellphones, plus international and premium numbers (0900), can be made using the Video Interpreting Service
  • You will need to purchase a calling card of your choice from any retail outlet, dairy, garage etc.
  • The Interpreter will ask you for your card details and continue to place your call using the card.