No two days are the same for Emmanuelle Heatley.

Or rather "no two hours are the same", she says sitting at her desk at the Tauranga Multicultural Council office in the Historic Village.

Heatley is the co-ordinator of the Bay of Plenty Interpreting Service and has seen a huge increase in the need for the service.

She took up the role in 2015 when there were 20 languages in need, now there were almost 30 regularly requested.


The service was a social enterprise under Multicultural Tauranga and more than 60 interpreters were on the books.

"You'd be surprised who needs our service," she said.

Most requests for interpreters were to help the Ministry of Justice and the Department of Corrections in the courts.

Other jobs often included helping interpret hospital visits, helping the Ministry of Education with relationships at local schools and colleges, or settling employer disputes.

Interpreters were even sometimes sent to rest homes to help with family relationships or disputes.

Heatley said the variety of the job was what kept it interesting.

Some of the languages in high demand for the Bay of Plenty included Mandarin, Punjabi, Korean and Nepalese.

She said as "more and more" migrants came to the area the need for interpreters had increased.


There were 2594 arrivals in Tauranga in 2017, according to the latest permanent and long-term migration data released by Statistics NZ.

That was 193 more people than the year before and 351 more than in 2015.

Interpreters worked freelance which meant many had other jobs or were stay-at-home parents.

Heatley said being an interpreter provided additional income for migrants living in the city.

Tauranga City Mayor Greg Brownless said the increase in the need for the service showed the changing city we lived in.

"There are differing cultures coming to live and work here."

For more information about the service visit

The most in-demand languages
- Mandarin
- Punjabi
- Korean
- Nepalese
- Tongan
- Samoan

Permanent and long-term migration: Arrivals (all countries of residence/all citizenships)

Tauranga City
2017 – 2594
2016 – 2401
2015 – 2243
Western Bay of Plenty
2017 – 719
2016 – 745
2015 – 688
Bay of Plenty
2017 – 5428
2016 – 5381
2015 – 5043
Source: Statistics NZ