Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain Language Website — Public Sector 2022

Auckland Council


Judges’ comments

You’ve created a focused website packed with lots of helpful content for two main audiences — voters and potential candidates. The design is welcoming and appealing. In general, most people who land on this website will find something of value for them, and some work on the structure, headings, and language will make your content more accessible.

Kudos to the team for your choice of imagery! The website is absolutely packed with useful content, and different pages approach the content in different ways, allowing many ways in for users.

It’s obvious that the web team took great care in making sure all the bases were covered so that voters and candidates can feel knowledgeable and empowered to participate.

Headings are generally very clear and are used effectively to break up content and guide readers to the content that interests them. Links throughout the website are clear and take people to really useful information. Page titles always match the links.

Your attention to plain language, combined with keeping your different readers and users in mind, makes the website a great example of effective plain language!

Media statement

We are thrilled to be nominated as a finalist for the Best Plain Language website.

In this election year, we developed a permanent and purpose-built website for elections content. One place for a diverse, wide-ranging audience to access the information they needed. The aim was to increase knowledge in what the council does and why, to help potential participants make informed decisions and ultimately reduce barriers to participation in the election.

To achieve this, our tone of voice needed to connect with all Aucklanders to make everyone feel included through plain, inclusive, and everyday language. Customer feedback from the previous election website was critical insight that informed the way we presented comprehensive information and the digital tools developed to improve usability and customer journey and experience.

Our use of language also follows accessibility standards to optimise the online experience for customers with accessibility needs.


Rose Leonard
Manager Governance Services
Auckland council