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WELLINGTON, Thursday: Winners in the 13th annual Plain English Awards were unveiled by Wellington Mayor Justin Lester in front of a full house of finalists from throughout New Zealand, gathered at the City Gallery Wellington.

  • The award for the Plain English Champion — Best Individual or Team went to the Better Letters Project team at the Ministry of Social Development.
  • The award for the Best Plain English Document in the private sector went to JUNO Investing Magazine for its JUNO KiwiSaver Scheme guide.
  • Dunedin City Council took out the public sector award with its document Investing in our great small city/Te Whakatāpae i tēnei taone. 
  • The Best Plain English Website award for the public sector went to Auckland Council for the www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz website.
  • The private sector award for this category went to Xero for its central.xero.com website.
  • The Best Plain English Turnaround Award went to Infinite Possibilities Limited for the turnaround of its client relationship agreement.
  • Draper Cormack Group Limited took out the Best Plain English Legal Document award for its Terms and Conditions. 
  • The Best Plain English Technical Communicator was Kaye Rayner from Sysdoc. 
  • Ryman Healthcare won Best Plain English Annual Report for its Annual Report 2018.
  • The Ministry of Social Development won the award for Best Sentence Transformation. 
  • The Commission for Financial Capability (CFFC) won the Best Plain English Communication award for its document Thinking of Living in a Retirement Village? The judges said: “This document breaks down highly complex, life-changing information into accessible chunks that the average New Zealander can easily absorb. This is an outstanding communication that meets a pressing public need.”
  • The People’s Choice Worst ‘Brainstrain’ Communication award went to the Companies Office, who received this could-do-better award for its document Companies Office Societies and Trusts Online. The judges said: This form illustrates why structure and design are crucial parts of plain English communication. Although the form does not force its readers to sift through large amounts of complex text, it is still hard to use due to the disorganised and visually unappealing way it presents its information.” The person who nominated the document said: As an office bearer in a small incorporated society, I have to file an annual return. If I get it wrong, my society may be struck off the incorporated societies register. One year I missed a small tick box placed within a line of text and several months later my organisation got a letter threatening to strike it off. It took a long time to work out what had been done wrong! Things are no better this year.”

See the full list of winners and finalists at www.plainenglishawards.org.nz

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