Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Best Plain Language Website — Public Sector

Ministry of Social Development

Ministry of Social Development team members share their success | Danielle Prattley and Jalina Cameron


Judges’ comments

The writing and the tone of voice of this website are very clear and engaging. Sentences are mostly short, and we feel the tone is very fitting for the purpose of this site, being conversational and supportive. The headings are engaging and have the right tone and amount of content.

The website shares lots of great visuals and personal stories, very nicely broken up into bite-sized paragraphs. The writing is definitely a great example of effective plain language writing. Good word choice is a particular strength of this site. Great to see!

Media statement

Family violence is an intricate issue with a far-reaching impact, affecting one in three individuals in Aotearoa New Zealand during their lifetime.

Change is Possible aims to create sustainable change at various levels of society by supporting change in men. The movement addresses two key contributors to violence: gender norms, and the intergenerational transmission of violence and trauma.

Many violence prevention campaigns for men unintentionally resort to shaming-and-blaming language that can alienate and provoke resistance. Change is Possible takes a different path. Our language and approach were crafted with an understanding of engaging men effectively in violence prevention.

We’ve created a website grounded in possibility while delicately addressing the issue. Striking a balance between addressing the complex issue of family violence while sustaining our audience’s engagement was a challenge. We use empathetic and plain language to invite men in. The website is a welcoming and engaging entry point for men to take part in violence prevention.

Change is Possible is a product of extensive research and partnership within communities across Aotearoa. Site visitors find engaging content and are invited to explore resources, tools, and stories of possibility. These enhance engagement while supporting men to develop new attitudes and skills.

With our Te Puna Aonui partners, MSD is helping deliver Te Aorerekura — the National Strategy to Eliminate Family Violence and Sexual Violence. The Change is Possible website is helping change attitudes and behaviours to improve the wellbeing of people impacted by violence.

Our team have had an overwhelmingly positive response from our audience. We are honoured to receive recognition as a finalist for the ‘Best Plain Language Website — Public Sector’ awards.


Teresa Pomeroy
Team Leader, Social Action | Safe, Strong Families and Communities| Māori, Communities and Partnerships Whakairinga Tūmanako Māori
Ministry of Social Development Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora