Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Announcing our 2021 Plain English Awards finalists!

We received some exemplary entries this year

The past year has been one in which many individuals and organisations have been hard at work adapting to their new normal. Many people have been busier than ever, getting used to an ever-changing work environment following the arrival of COVID-19 in the country.

That’s why we’re excited to announce a stellar line-up of finalists this year. We feel the quality of entries we’ve had shows that, despite their busyness, people still care about clear communications. So, a huge round of applause to everyone who entered, and particularly today to our finalists!

See our finalists in the list below. For some categories we’ve also published the names of entries that had been shortlisted — we’d love to recognise the hard work that went into those entries too. Well done to everyone who made it to the shortlist and beyond!

Save the date! We’ll be celebrating our finalists and winners at a cyber ceremony on Thursday, 14 October.

Find out more about our online ceremony

Plain English Champion — Best Organisation

  • Finalist: Citizens Advice Bureau New Zealand
  • Finalist: Legalite

Plain English Champion — Best Individual or Team

  • Finalist: Gretchen Rasch — Cawthron Institute
  • Finalist: Lauren Kelindeman — Legalite
  • Finalist: thinkstep-anz team

Best Plain English Document — Public Sector

  • Finalist: Dunedin City Council— tō tātou eke whakamuri: the future of us
  • Finalist: Health Navigator NZ — Empagliflozin
  • Finalist: Leading Lights — Consent to Request Support and Share Information
  • Finalist: Ministry of Social Development — COVID-19 emails to clients 2020
  • Finalist: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency — The New Zealand code for cycling

Best Plain English Document — Private Sector

  • Finalist: Summer KiwiSaver Scheme — Transferring Australian superannuation to the Summer KiwiSaver scheme
  • Finalist: Litmus and Alzheimers NZ — This is our story: A qualitative research report on living with dementia
  • Finalist: Ryman Healthcare — myRyman Life eLearning tool

Best Plain English Website — Public Sector

Best Plain English Website — Private Sector

The Food Cruncher website was the only entry in this category for 2021. Judges commended the website for its purpose, tone, and general language. However, they felt that the website needed to better follow the principles of plain language to progress beyond the shortlist.

Best Plain English Sentence Transformation

We have only one finalist this year so for obvious reasons we can’t publish their name. Wait for the big reveal at the ceremony!

Best Plain English Technical Communicator

This year we had one finalist and one highly commended entry. For obvious reasons we can’t reveal names until the ceremony.

Best Plain English Annual Report

  • Finalist: Domain Name Commission — 2020–2021 Annual Report » Domain Name Commission NZ
  • Finalist: Ministry for Primary Industries — Ministry for Primary Industries Annual Report 2019/20
  • Finalist: National Trauma Network — New Zealand Trauma Registry Annual Report 2019/20

Best Plain English Legal Document

  • Finalist: Accuro Health Insurance — Accuro Health Insurance SmartCare+ Policy Document
  • Finalist: Behavioural Science Aotearoa, Ministry of Justice — Protection Order Information Packs
  • Finalist: Southern Cross Travel Insurance — Domestic Travel Insurance Policy Document

Best Plain English Turnaround

  • Finalist: Accuro Health Insurance — Accuro Health Insurance SmartCare+ Policy Document
  • Finalist: Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency — The New Zealand code for cycling
  • Shortlist: Auckland Regional Public Health Service — Measles webpage
  • Shortlist: Ministry of Social Development — Apply Online webpage and Apply for NZ Super webpage

People’s Choice — Best Plain English Communication

  • Finalist: Kiwibank — We’re improving our home loan documents
  • Finalist: Kiwi Wealth — Kiwi Wealth: State of the Investor Nation Report June 2021
  • Finalist: Masterton District Council — A Dog’s Tale newsletter
  • Shortlist: Citizens Advice Bureau — Face to Face with Digital Exclusion
  • Shortlist: COVID-19 Group, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet — New Zealand COVID-19 Stamp it out: Our plan to respond to new COVID-19 cases in the community
  • Shortlist: Khandallah School — Khandallah School Draft Strategic Plan 2020 – 2021

People’s Choice — Worst Brainstrain Communication

We didn’t have any entries in this category in 2021. Lead judge of the People’s Choice panel, Simon Hertnon, says he’d like to think that this is a good sign.