Plain English Awards

celebrate New Zealand's clearest communicators

Judges for the 2016 Plain English Awards

Joining us again to judge the 2016 Plain English Awards are:

  • Sue Chetwin
  • Simon Hertnon
  • Ralph Brown

Sue Chetwin

Chief Executive, Consumer NZ


At Consumer, Sue is responsible for the organisation’s research, publishing, campaigning, and commercial activities. She is also Consumer’s public spokesperson on consumer issues and its representative on a number of industry and government organisations.

The principal aim of Consumer is to collect and disseminate information and, in so doing, advance the interests of its members and of consumers. This is achieved through research and the publication of Consumer magazine,, and

Sue joined Consumer 8 years ago, after over 25 years in news journalism. She has edited all three of the country’s Sunday newspapers. In her spare time she is studying for a law degree.

Simon Hertnon

Author and Trainer, Nakedize Limited


Simon’s work directly challenges society’s pervading information culture, which he describes as one that incessantly seeks more information, regardless of need, cost, or effect. He believes this culture, developed in a pre-digital era, is the root cause of poor performance in the knowledge economy. Simon is helping organisations to bring about the culture and conditions needed for optimal writing performance.

Simon is the author of three books, including Clear, Concise, Compelling: How to write less and achieve more (Nakedize, 2006) and From Afterwit to Zemblanity: 100 endangered words brought to life (New Holland, 2008).

Simon has also written a human needs theory and has co-authored a book on strong sustainability.

Simon teaches writing skills in New Zealand (primarily through his Writing Essentials course for Victoria University Professional and Executive Development) and internationally.

Ralph Brown

Founder, Skillset New Zealand


Ralph founded what is now Skillset New Zealand 30 years ago. Before that he was a television journalist.

Ralph is a passionate advocate of reader-focused writing. He has developed a writing and editing method to help writers produce plain English consistently, and taught the method to thousands of New Zealanders and Australians.

He has written six books, including Making Business Writing Easy and Making Business Writing Happen.