The basics of how we write for the Oranga Tamariki website.
- plain, conversational language
- contractions, such as you’re, it’s, we’ll, can’t, isn’t
- the active voice, where possible ie the present tense, avoid ing/ed word endings particularly in bulleted lists as these are passive
- ‘you’ and ‘your’ when talking to you
- we, when talking about Oranga Tamariki
- respectful, gender-neutral language
Writing needs to be:
Make content easy to read and scan
To do this:
- Keep sentences and paragraphs short – 3 lines for a sentence is too long. Remember, one idea per sentence.
- Use short/conversational words, such as ‘use’ not ‘utilise’; 'help’ not ‘assist’ or ‘assistance’.
- Avoid jargon or PR speak eg journey, reach out, learnings, deep dive and so on.
- Add frequent, descriptive headings – these need to meaningful and not just to break up text.
- Break text up with bullet points if there are several points of equal weighting or create a list.
- Put links on separate lines.
Use of te reo Māori
- macrons correctly in text and in headings
- a mix of tamariki and children
- for singular we use child
- a mix of rangatahi and young person (rangatahi can be singular and plural)
- tamariki not ‘our’ tamariki
- family or whānau, or whānau on its own
- Māori in upper case.
Published: April 9, 2021