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Chrissie Maher award 2022



Rachel Boyack (MP for Nelson, New Zealand) – The Plain Language Act 2022

“I am honoured to receive this year’s Chrissie Maher Award. Thank you to the Plain English Campaign in England for this special acknowledgement.

The Plain Language Act 2022 recently became law in Aotearoa New Zealand, and I am proud to have shaped this legislation that makes plain English and clear communication the law for government agencies.

It wasn’t always smooth sailing in passing this Act. We faced opposition in Parliament, with claims that the Plain Language Act would create ‘language police’ and ‘dumb-down’ government communications. However, we know that clear communication instead opens up public life.

My hope is that this law helps those in New Zealand to access their rights, understand the documents they sign and participate as full members of our society by having government agencies communicate clearly. Writing in clear, understandable language is necessary for a democracy to function. Plain language is ultimately about access and participation.”

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