The Language Assistance Services (LAS) Project

Language assistance services include interpreting and translation services that ensure people with limited or no English language skills can access public services and information they are entitled to

Improving language assistance services

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Department of Internal Affairs are working with other central government agencies to establish a new, comprehensive service delivery model to provide higher quality, more consistent and better coordinated language assistance services across New Zealand’s public sector. This programme of work is called the Language Assistance Services Project.

A new contract for telephone interpreting services will be in place by September 2019, followed by a new approach to procuring face-to-face interpreting services in 2020.

The new high-quality telephone interpreting service will continue to connect clients to public services and information. In addition it will:

  • be open 24/7
  • deliver greater innovation
  • meet clients’ future needs
  • comply with New Zealand Government Procurement & Property (NZGPP) rules.

LAS Project information sheet PDF 396KB

LAS Project implementation diagram PDF 204KB

Summary report on the use of interpreters and other language assistance in New Zealand PDF 112KB

Telephone interpreting services request for proposals

We have issued a request for proposals (RFP) for telephone interpreting services. This is advertised on the New Zealand Government Electronic Tenders Services (GETS) website. All enquiries must be directed to our point of contact using the GETS website.

Telephone Interpreting Services | New Zealand Government Electronic Tenders Service

Moving from Language Line to new telephone interpreting services

From 16 September 2019, telephone interpreting services will move from the Office of Ethnic Communities’ Language Line telephone interpreting service to a new service model. Language Line will close on 30 September 2019.

NZGPP determines if agencies are eligible to participate in the new contract for telephone interpreting services.

To find out if your agency can join the new contract you can check the eligibility rules on the NZGPP website or contact NZGPP.

Who can use collaborative contracts | New Zealand Government Procurement