Te Whatu Ora Plain Language Standard

What is plain language?

Plain language is a way of sharing information that is clear and well-organised. Using plain language helps readers understand and use the information we provide.
This Standard is designed to help us communicate in a way that is easy to understand.

Big Picture

  • The purpose of the message is clear at the start and the most important information comes first.
  • We write for the reader and communicate in a way that is best for them.


  • We present information logically, using headings and lists to organise information.
  • Sentences are short, with one idea per sentence.
  • Paragraphs are short, with one subject per paragraph.
Pātiki and Waharua Kōpito patterns

The Plain Language Act 2022

In this Act, plain language means language that is—(a) appropriate to the intended audience; and
(b)clear, concise, and well organised.


  • We use everyday words that are familiar to our audience and easy to understand.
  • We explain technical words and use them sparingly.
  • We write in the active voice.
  • We don’t use jargon or unneeded words.


  • The information is accurate and follows our style guide.