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Simultaneous interpretation service

Media release

16 May 2007

Simultaneous interpretation service

Simultaneous Māori to English interpretation of proceedings in the House is to be trialled.

Funding to be announced in tomorrow’s Budget will enable interpreters to simultaneously transmit and record their interpretation to Members in the Chamber and to the public in the galleries via headsets. The interpretation will also be used for radio broadcasts, television and internet feeds.

The trial has been endorsed by Parliament’s Standing Orders Committee. In addition, the 2004 Parliamentary Appropriations Review recommended taking advantage of opportunities to use the Māori interpretation service in a wider range of Parliamentary business.

There will be a one-off capital injection of $100,000 for the 2006/07 year in the Budget for the Office of the Clerk to buy the equipment and an increase in baseline operating funding of $132,000 over four years.

The Speaker, Hon Margaret Wilson, said Standing Orders gave Members the right to address the Speaker in Māori or English.

‘The use of Māori in the House has steadily increased and over the three sitting days during Māori Language Week last year, there were 17 occasions during questions for oral answer, 14 speeches or part of a speech and four other occasions when Māori was used followed by an official interpretation.

‘Members have the right to speak in Māori,’ she said. ‘They also have the right to raise points of order and have them dealt with in Māori at the time.

‘This project, if endorsed after the pilot, will help make the proceedings of Parliament more accessible for people whose first language is Māori.’


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