New Zealand Relay is a free, government-funded service that enables people with hearing and speech impairments to use the phone. They provide services for people who are Deaf, deafblind, hard of hearing, and speech impaired.
The services they provide include:
- Text Relay: If you are Deaf or hard of hearing, you can communicate with others using the Text Relay Service. You can place calls using your computer, laptop or tablet using a web browser. You can also place relay calls through your mobile phone or tablet through the NZ Relay mobile app. You can receive text relay calls through the NZ Relay app, but you will need to be registered and logged in to do so.
- Captioned Relay: Captioned relay calls can assist people who have trouble hearing others on the phone. You can make captioned relay calls using the NZ Relay app. A Relay Assistant will connect you to the person you want to call. As you speak and listen, the other person’s response will be captioned on the screen of your mobile phone or tablet for you to read. You can also receive captioned relay calls, but you need to create an account and log in first.
- Speech to Speech: If you have a speech impairment and want to communicate over the telephone using your own voice or a voice synthesizer, you can connect to your caller by calling a toll-free number.
- TTY to Voice: If you have a TTY device, you can connect to your caller via a toll-free number. Type your conversation to one of New Zealand Relay's Relay Assistants, who will then read your typed message to your caller and type your callers spoken words for you to read on your TTY screen.
- TTY Voice Carry Over: If you are Deaf or hard of hearing and want to use your own voice to speak to your caller, you can use your TTY device to connect with your caller via a toll-free number. Speak to your caller directly and a Relay Assistant will type their spoken words for you to read on your TTY screen.
- TTY Hearing Carry Over: If you have a speech impairment, and want to listen directly to your caller, you can use your TTY device to connect with your caller via a toll-free number. A Relay Assistant will read out your typed message to the person you are talking to, and your caller will respond directly to you.
- Video Interpreting Service: If you use New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL), you can communicate with others over the phone with a Video Interpreter. The Video Interpreter will interpret your signed message to your caller over the phone, in real-time. They will then sign your caller’s response back to you in NZSL. You can access this service on your phone, tablet, or computer/laptop by using Skype, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams. It is best to book an interpreter in advance to guarantee availability.
Please do not use NZ Relay services to make emergency calls.
The New Zealand Police call centre receives all emergency calls on behalf of Police, Fire and Ambulance services, and coordinate calls to the appropriate service.
In an emergency, please contact Emergency Services directly on:
- Deaf Emergency Fax 0800 16 16 10
- Deaf Emergency TTY 0800 16 16 16
- 111 Text – text to 111 (note you must be registered with NZ Police – see https://www.police.govt.nz/111-txt for more information.)
0800 4 715 715 if the phone number to call if you want to speak to New Zealand Relay using your voice. To contact them using TTY, call 0800 4 713 713.