Stacks of documents

Nominations open for 2018 Plain English Awards

We’re looking for documents or webpages that left you scratching your head. We want nominations for the People’s Choice category of the annual WriteMark Plain English Awards. The People’s Choice category is sponsored by Consumer NZ.

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You can enter a document or webpage from any New Zealand business or government organisation for these awards.

The People’s Choice – Best Plain English Communication award honours the most outstanding example of a really clear and helpful plain English document or webpage.

The People’s Choice – Worst “Brainstrain” award goes to the document or webpage most notable for confusing and dumbfounding its target audience with jargon and waffle.

Last year, the Brainstrain award went to Inland Revenue for its direct debit conditions. The judges said the document was supposedly an explanation of the conditions under which Inland Revenue had authority to accept direct debits, but it wasn’t clear.

Winner of the Best Plain English Communication was Wellington City Council’s Our Wellington – Tō Tātou Pōneke quarterly magazine. The judges said the document’s intention was clear and headings highlighted the key messages.

The WriteMark New Zealand Plain English Awards aim to bring plain English into common use in New Zealand. Entries are judged by a panel of plain English specialists and advocates.

Entries for this year’s Plain English Awards close on 31 August. To enter, visit plainenglishawards.org.nz.