Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: People’s Choice — Best Plain English Communication 2019

Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment


Judges’ comment

Overall, I really appreciate that you’ve built a resource to help tenants (and landlords!) navigate rental experiences and give them the information they need. This website I assume can help a large population across New Zealand.

This website is an important resource for a growing number of New Zealanders who are either owners or renters of property. Its value lies in making the law clear so that each person in an owner/renter relationship has the same information about their roles and responsibilities.

This site shows a lot of promise. (I also really like the feedback request at the bottom of every page!) The overall structure and headings are strong, as in much of the language.

Media statement

Tenancy Services is proud and thrilled that our commitment to delivering the best possible website service has been recognised with this nomination.

Tenancy Services’ Digital Team is dedicated to ensuring the website helps tenants, landlords and property managers easily understand their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Many tenants and landlords in New Zealand are new migrants or don’t speak English as a first language, so it’s a priority for us that the website is understood by all visitors. Last year, we completed a full audit and review of all website content to meet Plain English objectives, with a reading level of age 12 wherever possible. We also reviewed the structure of the website to make sure it is straightforward and easy to navigate.

We follow Plain English principles whenever writing web content and always keep our readers’ needs at the forefront. Sometimes this is challenging when we are writing about the Residential Tenancies Act, which is often complex and technical.

We are highly motivated to further improve the site as the tenancy world continues to develop and change.

Jennifer Sykes
Manager Information and Education
Tenancy Services