Find out why it’s worth supporting the goals of the Act.
The Plain Language Act 2022 applies to the New Zealand Government, including all its public service agencies and Crown agents. The purpose of the Act is to improve effectiveness and accountability. The Act requires communications to be clear and accessible to the public, and explicitly requires language that is:
Everyone who lives and works in Aotearoa gets essential information from the government. Plain language makes that information understandable and accessible. Plain language supports accessibility because it works well with assistive devices and is easier to translate. And plain language will encourage language that’s respectful and inclusive for everyone in Aotearoa.
The Plain Language Act 2022 will help government agencies build a reputation for reliability and trustworthiness.
Read more from our blog.
One of the biggest benefits of plain language is efficiency. Every document has a cost — the writer’s time and hourly rate, and the time the reader spends on it. Time and money are lost untangling long and complex information, clarifying, asking for more information, fixing, and rewriting. Plain language is clear, concise, and answers all the readers’ likely questions.
We’re brimming with ideas to help you make sure your writing matches up.
Are you ready for the Plain Language Act 2022?
Plenty of evidence exists to prove plain language works both for readers and for organisations.
Rewrite, by our CE Lynda Harris, shares stories of organisations that have benefited from plain language.
Rewrite: How to overcome daily sabotage of your brand and profit
Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please, by Professor Joe Kimble, features 50 case studies showing how plain language saves time and money.
Preview the book at Caroline Academic Press
A study by Dr Chris Trudeau found that as the complexity of content increases, so does the preference for plain language.
Read our thoughts on his research
Daniel Oppenheimer of Princeton University showed that unnecessarily complex language has a negative effect on readers’ perceptions of the writer.
Read Professor Oppenheimer’s report on the Science Daily site
Research from the Nielsen Norman Group shows that highly educated people want succinct information that’s easy to scan.
Read the article on the Nielsen Norman Group website