Your audience Why we need to keep it clear

A quarter of New Zealand’s population was born overseas. Those new to New Zealand need clear information but they can find it challenging to understand the way we communicate.

It can also be just as challenging for those of us who produce and write that information. So what works best for your newcomer audience may also work well for a broader audience too.

In putting together information for migrants we want to ensure it is informative, interesting and clear.

Your migrant audience

Many newcomers to New Zealand are English speakers, from countries such as Great Britain, South Africa, the USA and Ireland. But the fastest growing groups come from countries that are not predominantly English speaking, such as China, Argentina and the Philippines.

In any case we must provide information that migrants can clearly understand and act upon.

Even if a new migrant understands a bit of English or speaks it well – including as a first language – Kiwi English is often different from the English they know.

So it is helpful to remind ourselves of some tips by using this resource when communicating with newcomers.

Tips such as keeping messages short and simple. Using active language. Avoiding Kiwi expressions, idioms and metaphors.

Design is important too. Use easy-to-read fonts, lots of white space and clear images. ‘Keeping it Clear’ can help your communication with new to New Zealand audiences.