Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Winner: People’s Choice — Best Plain English Communication 2021


Chris Greig, Ben Bracey and Kara Tait from Kiwibank

Document name

We’re improving our home loan documents

Judges’ comments

Simon Hertnon
The banking industry has regularly featured in the Best Communication category over the past few years and this letter — and sample letter — from KiwiBank is another great example of how much clearer the industry can communicate compared to the old norm.

The letter has the clearest purpose of all this year’s entries, and that clarity shines throughout the content. The tone of both letters is ‘pitch perfect’ — friendly and engaging.

I applaud the innovation of sending customers a sample letter to introduce the changes to loan documents. Familiarity is a great change tool, and the sample letter gives customers an opportunity to know what to look for. It communicates to customers that loan information is important, and that customers understanding their loan information matters to the bank.

Both letters featured clear headings, and familiar and precise language. Really great work!

Ben Whitaker
Taking a complex subject matter such as home loans and making it accessible is not easy. Kiwibank have done an excellent job in communicating this, and on a single A4 sheet! Bravo!

Jacqueline Taylor
Many Kiwis want to own a home. Getting a home loan can be daunting for many! The terminology is technical, there is a lot to understand, and it’s terrifying being faced with so much debt!

Understanding your home loan is essential, so you can competently manage it.

Kiwibank have done an outstanding job in simplifying their home loan documents further. This will bring a lot of ease to many home loan borrowers.

Media statement

Our purpose, Kiwi making Kiwi better off, is why Kiwibank exists. Our goal is to have simple, easy to use products and services that are relevant and make it easy for our customers to bank with us. When we looked at making changes to our home loan documents it was absolutely about using plain English to enable our customers to understand their home loan, how it operates, and where they can go to get support. When our documents are user-friendly and easy to understand, we know our customers will be better off. At Kiwibank we are committed to ensuring our customer communications are clear, especially when it relates to something as important as a home loan.

Kara Tait
External Communications Manager