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Plain language

The PCO applies a plain language standard.

We also use a checklist that expands on each of the elements of the standard.

We are developing documents to support the standard and checklist.

Our goals are to:

  • make New Zealand’s legislation more accessible to all (especially online)
  • improve the legal effectiveness of that legislation
  • make plain language the standard for how the whole office communicates.

Closely related to clear drafting, Chapter 3 of our in-house Drafting Manual sets out the principles of clear drafting. We are in the process of updating this chapter with revised material to support the PCO's standard and checklist.


PEA Winner 2017 logoOn 23 November 2017 the PCO won the Best Plain English Legal Document at the Plain English Awards for the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017.

Read more about the award »

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