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 raise the bar for clear communication


Ready to roll with the 2019 Awards

The 2019 People’s Choice Awards are now open, and close on 30 August. Get nominating!

We’ll be running the full Plain English Awards again in 2020.

View People’s Choice information here

View the winners of the 2018 Awards

Here are the dates you need to know for this year’s Awards.

Nominations open: Wednesday, 1 May
Nominations close: Saturday, 31 August
Shortlist announced: Thursday, 19 September
Finalists announced: Thursday, 17 October
Winners announced: Thursday, 28 November

Discover the benefits of sponsorship

Curious about the benefits that sponsoring the Plain English Awards brings to your organisation? Please get in touch — we’d love to discuss sponsorship options with you.

Contact Melissa Mebus on, or call 04 384 6447 if you’d like to sponsor the Awards.

Thanks for supporting clear communication in New Zealand!

Get involved with our People’s Choice awards

Best Award

The Best Communication award honours an outstanding example of a plain English document or webpage nominated by a member of the public

Find out more


The Brainstrain award reveals, in good humour, the document or webpage most notable for confusing and dumbfounding its target audience

Find out more

You beauties

Congratulations to our 2018 plain English heroes

Best Plain English Document — Public Sector

Winner: Dunedin City Council

Finalist: New Zealand Drug Foundation

Finalist: Ministry for Women

Best Plain English Document — Private Sector

Winner: JUNO investing magazine

Finalist: Litmus Limited

Best Plain English Website — Public

Winner: Auckland Council

Finalist: Veteran's Affairs New Zealand

Best Plain English Website — Private

Winner: Xero

Finalist: MoneyHub Limited

Finalist: Snappy Communication Ltd.

Best Plain English Sentence Transformation

Winner: Ministry of Social Development

Finalist: Ankita Sharma

Finalist: Ministry of Social Development

Best Plain English Technical Communicator

Winner: Kaye Rayner

Best Plain English Annual Report

Winner: Ryman Healthcare

Finalist: Statistics New Zealand

Finalist: Ministry for Women

Best Plain English Legal Document

Winner: Draper Cormack Group Limited

Finalist: Infinite Possibilities Limited

Finalist: Hatch

Best Plain English Turnaround

Winner: Infinite Possibilities Limited

Finalist: Auckland Council

People's Choice — Best Plain English Communication

Winner: Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC)

Finalist: Independent Police Conduct Authority

Finalist: Ryman Healthcare

People’s Choice — Worst ‘Brainstrain’ Communication

Winner: The Companies Office

Finalist: Reserve Bank of New Zealand

Finalist: Air New Zealand