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Tuesday 6 November, 2018
The Ashburton District Council now has specialist language interpretation resources available to help staff interact with culturally diverse members of the community.
The Council is now a participating agency of Language Line, a telephone interpreting service offered by the Office of Ethnic Communities Te Tari Matawaka. It also has access to language interpreting resources from the Canterbury branch of Interpreting NZ for face-to-face and video-conferencing when staff identify that greater support is needed.
"Ashburton is home to people of many different cultures and backgrounds. We want to ensure that everyone in our community feels that they can confidently interact with us and not feel that they could be misunderstood due to potential language barriers," Communications Manager, Ruben Garcia says.
"That is why, through the work of the Welcoming Communities pilot programme, we have enlisted the help of these invaluable language resources. These initiatives help bring life to the Ashburton District's Welcoming Plan – Whakatau mai ki te rōhe o Hakatere by providing newcomers with equitable access to services that allow them to fully participate in community and civic activities."
The service is available in situations where either staff or the person conducting business with Council may benefit from language interpretation services, if language is a barrier.
"We are very pleased to have access to Language Line and Interpreting NZ. We understand how important it is to be able to get your message across accurately, especially when dealing with applications or seeking information about services. We hope these resources will further increase our accessibility for everyone in our community, regardless of their cultural background.
"It's also important that as a leader of the Welcoming Communities programme, we are making sure that our staff are supported and confident when engaging with all members of our communities."