Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Finalists announced in the 16th Plain English Awards

The past year has been one in which many individuals and organisations have been hard at work adapting to their new normal. Many people have been busier than ever, getting used to an ever-changing work environment.

That’s why organisers of the annual Plain English Awards are excited to announce a stellar line-up of finalists this year. This included, for the first time, entries from Australia. Organisers feel this shows that, despite their busyness, people still care about clear communications.

This year’s Plain English Awards finalists are listed below.

Plain English Champion — Best Organisation

  • Citizens Advice Bureau New Zealand
  • Legalite

Plain English Champion — Best Individual or Team

  • Gretchen Rasch — Cawthron Institute
  • Lauren Kelindeman — Legalite
  • thinkstep-anz team

Best Plain English Document — Public Sector

  • Dunedin City Council— tō tātou eke whakamuri: the future of us
  • Health Navigator NZ — Empagliflozin
  • Leading Lights — Consent to Request Support and Share Information
  • Ministry of Social Development — COVID-19 emails to clients 2020
  • Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency — The New Zealand code for cycling

Best Plain English Document — Private Sector

  • Summer KiwiSaver Scheme — Transferring Australian superannuation to the Summer KiwiSaver scheme
  • Litmus and Alzheimers NZ — This is our story: A qualitative research report on living with dementia
  • Ryman Healthcare — myRyman Life eLearning tool

Best Plain English Website — Public Sector

Best Plain English Website — Private Sector

The website was the only entry in this category for 2021. Judges commended the website for its purpose, tone, and general language. However, they felt that the website needed to better follow the principles of plain language to progress beyond the shortlist.

Best Plain English Sentence Transformation

No finalists published — wait till 14 October to find out more!

Best Plain English Technical Communicator

No finalists published — wait till 14 October to find out more!

Best Plain English Annual Report

  • Domain Name Commission — 2020–2021 Annual Report » Domain Name Commission NZ
  • Ministry for Primary Industries — Ministry for Primary Industries Annual Report 2019/20
  • National Trauma Network — New Zealand Trauma Registry Annual Report 2019/20

Best Plain English Legal Document

  • Accuro Health Insurance — Accuro Health Insurance SmartCare+ Policy Document
  • Behavioural Science Aotearoa, Ministry of Justice — Protection Order Information Packs
  • Southern Cross Travel Insurance — Domestic Travel Insurance Policy Document

Best Plain English Turnaround

  • Accuro Health Insurance — Accuro Health Insurance SmartCare+ Policy Document
  • Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency — The New Zealand code for cycling

People’s Choice — Best Plain English Communication

  • Kiwibank — We’re improving our home loan documents
  • Kiwi Wealth — Kiwi Wealth: State of the Investor Nation Report June 2021
  • Masterton District Council — A Dog’s Tale newsletter

People’s Choice — Worst Brainstrain Communication

No entries were received for this category in 2021. Lead judge of the People’s Choice panel, Simon Hertnon, says he’d like to think that this is a good sign.

‘I do think that there are less examples out there — so that’s definitely progress for the cause.’

Huge thanks to Awards sponsors

Sponsors play a key part in the keeping the Plain English Awards going. The Awards team would like to thank the following organisations for their support: WriteMark Limited, Write Limited, Wright Family Foundation, Graphic Solutions, NZ Super Fund, Newsroom, Streamliners, TechComm, Skillset,, MoneyHub, Consumer NZ, Shelly Davies, Community Comms Collective, Editor Software, Informed Investor, Kendons, and Modica Group.

Get more information

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis: Emerald Fennell's Promising Young Woman'

The Guardian needed not one, but three reviews to do justice to Fennell's unsettling approach, which indicates exactly how ambiguous and controversial its message really is. More>>

Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which won the Non Fiction Award at the Montana New Zealand Book Awards in 2009, and has now been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

Howard Davis: The Back of the Painting

Painting conservators are the forensic pathologists of the art world. While they cannot bring their subjects back to life, they do provide fascinating insights into the precise circumstances of a painting's creation, its material authenticity, and constructive methodology. More>>

Howard Davis: Black Panthers on the Prowl

A passionate and gripping political drama from Shaka King, this is an informative and instructive tale of human frailty that centers around the charismatic Chicago Black Panther leader Fred Hampton, who was murdered at the age of twenty-one during a police raid. More>>

Howard Davis: Controlling the High Ground

Stephen Johnson's raw and angry film not only poses important questions with scrupulous authenticity, but also provides a timely reminder of the genocidal consequences of casual bigotry and xenophobia. More>>

Howard Davis: Dryzabone - Robert Conolly's The Dry

After the terrible devastation caused by last year’s bushfires, which prompted hundreds of Australians to shelter in the ocean to escape incineration and destroyed uncountable amounts of wildlife, The Dry has been released during a totally different kind of dry spell. More>>

Howard Davis: Hit the Road, Jack - Chloé Zhao's Nomadland

Nomadland is perhaps the ultimately 'road' movie as it follows a group of dispossessed and disenfranchised vagabonds who find a form of communal refuge in camp sites and trailer parks after the economic contraction of 2008. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland