Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Finalist: Plain Language Champion — Best Individual or Team

Digital and Customer Experience Team, Auckland Council

The Auckland Council team celebrate their stash of prizes | Michel Mathew, Kulvinder Singh, and Kate Sumner

Judges’ comments

The Auckland Council’s recovery website shows a good level of commitment to plain language through the quality of their content. Well done!

The judges were impressed they promoted plain language, even when facing:

  • high expectations from people in need
  • very tight deadlines
  • a variety of documentation layouts and communication quality.

It’s clear they had their audience at the heart of what they were doing, and what they were asking others in their organisation to support. We know that takes a lot of effort, influence, dedication, and balance. Great job, Digital and Customer Experience team!

Media statement

Moving Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) from emergency response to recovery has been emotional and uncharted territory for everyone involved.

We set up the Recovery from extreme weather and natural disasters website as part of Auckland Council’s response to the storm and cyclone events in January and February 2023, when thousands of people were reaching out to us for help.

The work required a high level of sensitivity towards those who had been affected by the storms. We’ve had to learn hard and fast about not just what communities need to recover, but how they can access and understand key information easier and faster.

We have worked hard with business teams to guide their thinking about plain language and user-centred design. This now takes our organisation a step further in understanding why using plain language in all written communications matters.

With new updates almost every day, and a highly interested audience, being responsive is our key focus. It’s awesome to have our website recognised!


Kulvinder Singh
Digital Content Lead
Auckland Council