Every year, SLIANZ receives many requests from sign language interpreters around the world who want to come to New Zealand to work.
Most Deaf people in New Zealand use New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), which is a sign language unique to New Zealand. NZSL is closely related to British Sign Language (BSL) and Australian Sign Language (Auslan), but it is quite distinct from American Sign Language and related languages.
Interpreters who want to work in New Zealand are encouraged to take enough time to learn NZSL before. As a guideline, even for users of related sign languages such as Auslan or BSL, we would recommend taking at least 3-6 months to become familiar with NZSL and the New Zealand Deaf community. Additionally, interpreters working in New Zealand need to have a high standard of spoken English and/or te reo MÄ�ori.
Interpreting and sign language qualifications from different countries vary from those offered here in New Zealand and it is not always possible to establish equivalence. SLIANZ work together with interpreting associations and registering bodies in other countries to determine whether your interpreting qualification is at an equivalent level. This will be assessed on an individual basis. It would be useful to contact us prior to your move to discuss this further.
For information on working in New Zealand, including the requirements for obtaining a work visa, visit the Immigration New Zealand website