Plain English Awards

celebrate New Zealand's clearest communicators

The Plain English Awards
The Plain English Awards

The Plain English Awards are a public pat on the back for plain English champions and help to raise the bar for clear communication

The Plain English Awards in 2017

The 2017 winners and finalists have been published. Congratulations to all who made it!

View the 2017 winners and finalists here

View the shortlists here

Who entered the 2017 Plain English Awards?

View our judging panel here

You can submit nominations for the People’s Choice category for 2018 if you missed out this year.

Key dates to remember
  • Entries closed at 6pm on Thursday 31 August
  • Shortlisted entries announced on 28 September
  • Finalists announced on 19 October
  • Awards ceremony and winners announced on 23 November

View category information here

Enter the People’s Choice awards here

Please get in touch if you can offer support as a sponsor. We rely on sponsorship to manage and promote the Awards and to run the presentation ceremony. Let’s all get behind the Awards to make them happen again this year!

The $125 entry fee covers basic administration costs.

Thanks for supporting clear communication in New Zealand!

Check out the 2016 Awards winners here

Get involved with our People’s Choice awards

Best Award

Best Plain English Communication award honours the most outstanding example of a plain English document or web page nominated by a member of the public

Find out more


Worst 'Brainstrain' Communication award reveals, in good humour, the document or website most notable for confusing and dumbfounding its target audience

Find out more

You beauties

Congratulations to our 2017 plain English heroes

People's Choice — Worst 'Brainstrain' Communication

Winner: Inland Revenue — Inland Revenue direct debit conditions

Plain English Champion — Best Organisation

Winner: Utilities Disputes

People's Choice — Best Plain English Communication

Winner: Wellington City Council

Finalist: Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme — Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme Annual Report 2017

Finalist: Superu — Making sense of evaluation

Finalist: Perry Outdoor Education Trust — POET latest news

Best Plain English Turnaround

Winner: Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management —

Finalist: New Zealand Insolvency and Trustee Service — Types of Creditor

Finalist: Parliamentary Counsel Office — Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017

Best Plain English Legal Document

Winner: Parliamentary Counsel Office — Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017

Finalist: Cavell Leitch — Property Sharing Agreement

Best Plain English Annual Report

Winner: Z Energy — Solving what matters for a moving world. 2017 Annual Report

Finalist: English Language Partners New Zealand Trust — English Language Partners New Zealand Annual Report 2016

Finalist: Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme — Kiwi Wealth KiwiSaver Scheme Annual Report 2017

Best Plain English Technical Communicator

Winner: Louisa Eades, Streamliners

Finalist: Wellington Region Emergency Management Office

Best Plain English Sentence Transformation

Winner: Jan Schrader, Stats NZ

Finalist: Steph Prince, NZ Transport Agency

Finalist: Ministry for Women

Best Plain English Website

Winner: Department of Internal Affairs —

Finalist: JUNO magazine —

Finalist: Intellectual Property Office of New Zealand —

Finalist: Ministry of Social Development — Studylink —

Best Plain English Document — Private Sector

Winner: Tower Insurance Limited — House Insurance Premium Cover

Best Plain English Document — Public Sector

Winner: Superu — Making Sense of Evaluation — a handbook for the social sector Finalists

Finalist: Ministry for Women — Closing the gender pay gap — advice for employers

Finalist: Wellington City Council — Our Wellington — Tō Tātou Pōneke (winter 2017 edition)

Plain English Champion — Best Individual or Team

Winner: Steph Prince, NZ Transport Agency

Finalist: Megan Lane, Empathy