If you’re unhappy or concerned about the standard of service, conduct or actions of an interpreter providing services at court or tribunal hearings, you can make a complaint.
Complaints are treated confidentially and respectfully through a fair and transparent process. Your complaint will be considered using our complaints process and you’ll be kept informed throughout.
You can make a complaint in person at the court to a Service Manager or Case Flow Manager, or at the tribunal to the referee or adjudicator. They’ll try to resolve the matter with you straight away.
If the matter can't be resolved immediately, or you want to make a formal complaint, you’ll need to put your complaint into writing and send it to us:
If you have trouble understanding English, the following services can help you:
Phone: 0800 872 675, or
Write: at PO Box 805, Wellington 6140.
Phone: 0800 453 771
Complaints should be made within one month of the incident that caused you dissatisfaction. You’ll need to include the following information with your complaint:
To resolve the complaint, we may also need to share details of the complaint with the interpreter and their agency, so they have an opportunity to respond. This is important so we can carry out a fair process.
When you make your complaint, please tell us if you agree to us sharing the details of your complaint so we can investigate your complaint further.
A complaint made about an interpreter under the Guidelines for Interpreters can be one of the following:
You’ll receive an acknowledgment confirming that we’ve received your complaint.
In the first instance, we’ll consider whether it’s possible to resolve the matter with you straight away.
If it isn’t possible, we’ll investigate your complaint and contact you if we need more information. You can expect a response within 20 working days from the date we received your complaint.
If we need more information or the matter you’ve raised is very detailed or complex, we might need more time to make a decision. If we do need more time, we’ll let you know.
To resolve the complaint, we’ll:
We may make the following decisions about a complaint:
If an interpreter or an agency is removed from the Ministry list, we may require that they undergo specific training for interpreting in courts and tribunals before they can reapply to be an interpreter for the Ministry.
Note: Where an interpreter is booked through a Language Service Provider to provide their services, the Language Service Provider will be contacted about the complaint and kept informed throughout the investigation.
We'll send the final decision about the complaint to the parties involved – that is, the interpreter, their Language Service Provider (if applicable), and the complainant.
If you’re the complainant or interpreter being complained about and you’re unhappy with the complaint outcome, you may request a review.
A request for a review of a complaint outcome should be made within 20 working days of the date of the outcome of the complaint.
The review will be considered by someone different from the original complaint handler to ensure that an independent review is carried out. The purpose of the review is not to carry out a new investigation, but to review the original investigation and decision. The review may confirm, change or reverse the original decision.
If you’re unhappy with our decision regarding your complaint, you have the right to raise your concerns with the Ombudsman.
Office of the Ombudsman contact details:
Freephone: 0800 802 602
PO Box 10152
The Ombudsman can consider complaints about the administrative acts and decisions of state sector agencies. The Ombudsman will ask you if you have first tried to resolve the matter with us directly and will consider whether you have any other remedy available.
The Ombudsman may consider your complaint and make a recommendation to us about the concern(s) you’ve raised.
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