Interested in Becoming an Interpreter with Us?

There are seven steps that you need to complete in order to be an interpreter with Interpreting New Zealand (see graphic below).

Application Timeline

Application Timeline

  • Application
  • Language Test
  • Interview
  • Course
  • Assessment
  • Offer of Employment
  • Professional Development
Each of these steps is explained in detail by following this link.

Introductory Training Course

Interpreting New Zealand trains and employs interpreters in some 70 languages.  We recruit people who are very proficient speakers of English and another language. We particularly need languages spoken by refugees and new migrants to New Zealand.  Experienced interpreters with existing qualifications, desirably NAATI or Diploma in Sign Language Interpreting, are encouraged to contact us at any time of the year.

To train as an interpreter, you need to be:

  • generally available during normal working hours
  • a NZ citizen or holder of Permanent Residence status
  • living in NZ for 18 months or more
  • well educated, with a broad general knowledge
  • keen to learn and expand your horizons
  • mature and of high moral integrity

Interpreter Training Courses

Introductory in-house courses are run six-monthly. In Wellington, they consist of 18 weeks (approximately 50 hours) of evening and Saturday morning classes and language laboratory work. In Christchurch they are presented in 5 weekend modules plus site visits. They are delivered by NAATI-qualified trainers with extensive teaching and interpreting experience. A token charge (currently $90), is made. A written test and oral assessment are administered at the end of the course. Click here to find details of the competencies we assess. The training programme is specifically designed as in-house training for interpreters who will work for Interpreting New Zealand – it is not a public course.

Keeping on learning

Our training doesn’t stop at the end of the introductory course.  Interpreters are encouraged to view learning as a life long goal.   As such Interpreting New Zealand runs a selection of short professional development courses each year for qualified interpreters who are contracted to us. Subjects include areas such as medical conditions and treatments, ethics and behaviours, and the functions of enforcement agencies. Interpreters are trained for the demanding area of Court interpreting in a series of advanced courses.  Our current programme is regularly updated.

Interpreting New Zealand is committed to maintaining high standards nationally and internationally. Our interpreters are assisted financially and offered preparatory courses to seek external accreditation from the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). We actively reward and recognise NAATI-qualified interpreters. These policies also apply to NZ Sign Language interpreters with comparable qualifications. We encourage interpreters to join the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters (NZSTI).