Interpreting services

Hawke’s Bay DHB has an interpreting service which is available to hospital patients and people in the community.

This service is accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To request an interpreter phone 06 878 8109 and ask the operator for the contact details of an interpreter in the language required.

Currently over 30 languages are offered including New Zealand Sign Language and palm signing (also known as tactile signing, tracing or print-on-palm) for hearing and sight impaired patients (the availability of languages is subject to change).

Interpreters provide face-to-face interpreting as well as interpreting over the phone. Interpreters help to bridge the communication gap in a multi-cultural society, and allow the professionals to use their time with clients more effectively

For hospital patients:

Hawke's Bay hospital patients do not need to pay to use an interpreter. Requests for an interpreter must be made before your appointment visit.

Interpreting services in the community:

Hourly charges apply for interpreting in the community, for example police, courts, agencies etc. Ask when putting in your request what charges will apply (what the cost will be).

Telephone interpreting charges are in 15 minute intervals (use of speaker phone is recommended). Payment of interpreters and invoicing of users is through the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board’s accounts process.

Hawke’s Bay DHB interpreters have received training to:

  • Provide a prompt and professional service onsite or by telephone 
  • Abide by a Code of Practice, and maintain privacy and confidentiality 
  • Remain impartial and unbiased, and understand and explain cultural differences

Sign Language Interpreters Association of New Zealand (SLIANZ)

The Sign Language Interpreters Association of New Zealand (SLIANZ), Inc, adopted a revised Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct at its Annual General Meeting in July 2012. These revised Codes are the result of an extensive nationwide process of consultation and development involving sign language interpreters as well as Deaf and hearing consumers of interpreting services.

The codes are available online at: