Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain English Legal Document 2015


Document name

House Rules

Judges’ comment

The purpose is clear right up front. Well done.

The reader-focused language is the most impressive aspect of this entry. You’ve crafted your writing to really appeal to your target readers and to increase the likelihood that they’ll read and understand the Rules. The tone is friendly and informal. You could go further in places to get rid of every last traditional-sounding phrase.

Terms and conditions documents are typically impenetrable. The effort you’ve made here to make them readable is commendable and worthy of acknowledgement. You’ve done a great job of capturing the right tone for your customers.

We recommend some further work on layout and on grammar and punctuation. We’d also like to see more than ‘sense’ testing with this document.

Media statement

Colloquial and terms and conditions are not normally two things that go together.

TVNZ set about changing that with the creation of our new House Rules last year. TVNZ has the legal expertise to draft terms and conditions and privacy policies, but after some self-reflective scrutiny we realised if we actually wanted people to read our House Rules we might need some help.

This is where a beautiful little relationship started between TVNZ and Hunch — and TVNZ’s new website terms and conditions became TVNZ’s House Rules.

TVNZ’s GM Rights and Legal Counsel Cate Slater says TVNZ wanted the House Rules to be something people could read and understand and also smile at.

‘We were also re-launching TVNZ OnDemand, which for the first time required a login. We wanted to be really transparent about that process.’