Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Plain English a bottom line issue for businesses

20 November 2013

Plain English a bottom line issue for businesses

Simple language is a bottom line issue for businesses and more New Zealand organisations are recognising the fact.

The eighth annual search for the country’s plain English champions culminates on 3 December. The winners of the WriteMark New Zealand Plain English Awards will be announced at a ceremony in Wellington.

More than 140 entries were received across all categories and from all sectors, showing commitment to plain English by organisations throughout the country.

“A high number of entries from the financial sector is recognition that simplicity is a bottom-line issue for businesses,” says Gregory Fortuin, WriteMark Plain English Awards Trust Chair.

“We’re seeing organisations invest more time and energy into communicating clearly with the people who matter to them. There is greater understanding that clear and high-quality writing is a very important feature of organisational success,” says Mr Fortuin.

ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd. is a finalist in seven categories; the Ministry of Social Development, in two. Others include the High Court of New Zealand, an early childhood education centre, a rental company and Xero.

The Department of Internal Affairs, Inland Revenue, ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd. and Thorn Rentals NZ Ltd are all finalists in the Best Plain English Turnaround. This award recognises the best plain English rewrite of a document or website that was originally difficult to read.

Hamilton City Council and the State Services Commission are Brainstrain finalists — organisations which have been ‘dobbed in’ by members of the public for using gobbledygook. Hamilton City Council took the nomination on the chin for a factsheet which was several years old and has been withdrawn from circulation.

“While we are a little embarrassed — and somewhat disappointed — we have been nominated for this award, we’re treating it as a reminder we need to make sure we are clear and concise with information we provide to our community,” said Communications Manager Elizabeth Hughes.

“Enthusiasm and commitment to clear communication makes a huge difference in the lives of New Zealanders every day,” says Mr Fortuin.

Finalists for the 2013 Plain English Awards

Plain English Champion — Best Organisation

ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd
Department of Internal Affairs
Ministry of Social Development
Office of the Electricity and Gas Complaints Commissioner

Plain English Champion — Best Individual or Team

ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd — ANZ Wealth (Plain English Team)
Department of Internal Affairs — Digital Engagement Team
Statistics New Zealand — Editorial Team

Best Plain English Document — Public Sector / Non-Government Organisation (NGO)

Environmental Protection Authority — Hazardous Substances Toolbox
Ministry of Social Development — SKIP Tips for Parents series
Standards New Zealand — Standards Council Statement of Intent 2013–2016

Best Plain English Document — Private Sector

ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd — ANZ Retail’s ANZ Memorandum of Mortgage
ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd — ANZ Wealth’s ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme Investment Statement
DTR — Flip charts

Best Plain English Website — Public Sector / Non-Government Organisation (NGO)

Accident Compensation Corporation —
Careers New Zealand —
St Mary's Early Childhood Education Centre —

Best Plain English Website — Private Sector

ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd — ANZ Wealth's
Equinox IT —
Martelli McKegg —

Best Plain English Sentence Transformation

Xero — sentence from 'Add or edit a fixed asset'
Xero — sentence from 'Foreign currency bills and invoices'
Xero — sentence from 'View customer or supplier contact details'

Best Plain English Technical Communicator

Chloe Hooper, Statistics New Zealand
Kylie Mason, Ministry of Health
Ros Black, Xero

Best Plain English Investor Document

AMP Services (NZ) Ltd — AMP KiwiSaver Scheme Investment Statement
ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd — ANZ Wealth's ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme Investment Statement
ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd — ANZ Wealth's OneAnswer KiwiSaver Scheme Investment Statement and OnePath KiwiSaver Scheme Investment Statement (tied due to being similar)

Best Plain English Turnaround

ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd — ANZ Retail’s ANZ Memorandum of Mortgage
Department of Internal Affairs — from to
Inland Revenue — IR 240 and IR 333
Thorn Rentals NZ Ltd (trading as dtr) — flip charts

People's Choice — Best Plain English Communication

ANZ Bank New Zealand Ltd — ANZ Wealth’s ANZ KiwiSaver Scheme Investment Statement
High Court of New Zealand — Justice Collins' Judgment HCC v LHDC

People's Choice — Worst 'Brainstrain' Communication

Hamilton City Council — Hatch, Match and Dispatch factsheet
State Services Commission — Job description: Director — Continuous Improvement

See for more information.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Statistics: Building Activity Down In September Quarter
The volume of building activity in New Zealand fell 8.6 percent in the September 2021 quarter, compared with the June 2021 quarter, Stats NZ said today. Residential building activity fell by 6.4 percent in the September 2021 quarter, while non-residential building activity fell 12 percent... More>>

Government: David McLean Appointed As KiwiRail Chair

David McLean has been appointed as Chair of KiwiRail Holdings Ltd, the Minister for State Owned Enterprises Dr David Clark and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson announced today... More>>

Dairy NZ: ‘More Milk From Fewer Cows’ Trend Continues In A Record Year
Vodafone says it has 10,000 customers using its Wi-Fi Calling service. It took less than three months to reach that milestone; the service began operating in September... More>>

Xero: Data Reveals ICT Expenditure Key To Small Business Sales Growth
Xero, the global small business platform, today released a new report which shows New Zealand small business ICT expenditure has increased 25 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels - more than the UK (20%) and Australia... More>>

Fonterra: Lifts Forecast Farmgate Milk Price Range And Revises Earnings Guidance At First Quarter Update

Fonterra Co-operative Group today lifted its 2021/22 forecast Farmgate Milk Price range, reported a solid start to the 2022 financial year and revised its earnings guidance... More>>

Canterbury Museum: New Research - Bald Haast's Eagle Feasted On Moa Guts

New Zealand’s extinct Haast’s Eagle (Hieraaetus moorei), the largest known eagle, gulped down viscera like a vulture and may even have been bald, new research suggests... More>>

ABC Business Sales: Demand High For Covid-proof Businesses
Despite the continuing challenges facing businesses in this Covid environment, right now there are more buyers looking for a small-medium sized business than there are sellers in the market... More>>