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Language Line Powered Up

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

From November 1, people facing English language barriers will have a much easier time querying their power bill if their supplier is Genesis Energy.

The electricity retailer has added Language Line to the ways they offer customer service, the first State Owned Enterprise to do so.

Language Line is a phone translation service which provides callers who have difficulty with the English language access to interpreters in 40 different languages.

Minister for Ethnic Affairs Pansy Wong welcomed the move saying it would make life a lot easier for those people who speak English as a second language.

"Language Line is provided by the Office of Ethnic Affairs and it is a very valuable service for people who might experience language difficulties.

"It is a free service and very easy to access. The caller just has to say the language required and a professional interpreter will join the conversation on the phone, usually within two minutes, to help them talk with the agency.

"This is a fantastic service and I encourage more people to use it. For example, the Christchurch City Council introduced Language Line after the earthquake and between it and the Earthquake Commission Language Line received 32 calls.''

Language Line manager Diana Clark said Language Line had provided training to Genesis to help them implement the service.

"It is a particular pleasure to welcome Genesis because of the important role power plays in the lives of those settling into New Zealand as it does for all us," Mrs Clark says.

"Genesis Energy's large call centre in Hamilton can now serve their customers throughout the country in many languages."

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