Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain English Website — public sector 2018

Veteran’s Affairs New Zealand

Website address

Judges’ comments

[This is] a lovely website with some excellent content and strong writing that clearly keeps the user in mind. I’m certain veterans and others will find it helpful. The information is dry and factual, but the images and clarity help engage the reader.

Very good work. It is a delicate theme. I understand that an important goal is making it easy for veterans to find support. That is a great goal. Well done!

Media statement

“We are delighted to have had our website named as a finalist in this year’s plain English awards,” said Head of VA, Bernadine MacKenzie. “It signals to us that we’re getting it right in communicating better with our veterans, which is a number one priority for us”.

The new website is designed to make it easy for New Zealand Defence Force veterans and their families and whānau to find out about the support VA can provide, and how to access it.

VA worked closely with the veteran community as the new website came together. “They were fantastic user-testers for us”, Bernadine said “and we learned a lot from listening to their feedback. Together, we came up with better language, a much less bureaucratic tone, and an easy to follow structure.

“The result was what we were all aiming for—something user-friendly and accessible. We know we’ve got more to do—and this award/being shortlisted for this award is a great motivator for us all.”

Matthew Dyson
Advisor, Projects and Communications