Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain English Document — Public Sector / Non-Government Organisation (NGO) 2015

Ministry of Social Development

Document name

Protect Your Future with an Enduring Power of Attorney

Judges’ comment

This short document has a good structure and clear, relevant headings. It also has two versions to make it accessible to a very wide audience. Well done.

You’ve clearly kept your reader in mind while writing. And you’ve taken care to use language that includes them (you’ve addressed them directly as ‘you’).

This document works well as a basic introduction to Enduring Power of Attorney, and it’s clear where readers can go for more information. However, we wondered whether the reader would benefit from a little more detail, and maybe some examples of the kind of decisions they might delegate.

Media statement

The Office for Senior Citizens has been awarded the Best Plain English Document — Public Sector/NGO for its easy-read brochure on Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA). This brochure was produced in partnership with People First New Zealand Nga Tangata Tuatahi, a Disabled Persons Organisation.

‘We are very pleased with this positive result,’ says Sarah Clark, Director for the Office for Senior Citizens.
‘We want more New Zealanders to know about EPAs and how they can protect their future.

‘As a legal document, information about EPAs can often include difficult legal jargon. We’ve done our very best to cut that out and use plain English. We aim to make all our resources user-friendly and easy to understand.’

The easy-read EPA brochure was developed in partnership with ‘Make It Easy’ — the People First NZ Easy Read translation service — to ensure that people with learning disabilities, low literacy levels, or English as a second language can also access this information. Easy Read information is different from plain English and plain language but uses the same principles and builds on them, with specific formatting rules and images to aid understanding of the text.

Alexia Garbutt, Manager of the ‘Make It Easy’ service believes ‘It is critically important for information like this to be accessible. By making sure its information is easy to read and understand, the Office for Senior Citizens is empowering people to have a say in their own lives, and that is to be commended.’

The brochure is part of a suite of resources on EPAs.
If you would like to access a copy of the brochure and similar resources, visit