Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain English Document — Public Sector 2021

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency

Document title

The New Zealand code for cycling

Judges’ comments

You have gone to a great deal of trouble to make sure that content is accurate and relevant. It shows. As one of our judging team observed, ‘it feels like there has been lots of discussion’.

The text engages readers with plain language. You were very focused on how readers might react to particular words and ideas and it shows.

Media statement

We’re delighted to have won this award. Recognition from people that value and promote plain English shows that we succeeded in our goal to make the Code for Cycling clear for our readers.

We stripped the original document right down to its core purpose – a plain English translation of the legislation. We ran surveys and focus groups to find out which type of language and tone worked best with our audience, as well as to understand how it was performing against its purpose and what people were actually using it for.

We would like to acknowledge the team within Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency who did the hard mahi to deliver the rewritten code and webpages. Thank you also to all the wonderful people who responded to our surveys and focus groups — we could not have done it without you.

Elizabeth Claridge
Senior Advisor Behaviour and Choice
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency