Plain English: death by a thousand public servants

This must take whichever cake is on offer for the dopiest rearrangement of the alphabet this year. Ag Research did quite well fiddling with cows’ udders to produce a high-protein milk that reduces allergic reactions in people otherwise allergic to cow’s milk.

But their writing… If they researched cows’ milk the same way as they destroy English, they would wipe out New Zealand’s dairy industry within a year. The following seems to be pasted into each job description for prospective employees.

Definition of Business:

AgResearch is a Crown Research Institute that conducts research and development to enhance the value, productivity and profitability of the pastoral sector, with the overarching aim of contributing to economic growth and beneficial environmental and social outcomes for New Zealand. Our strategy affirms our enduser focus and responsibility to deliver to the 18 priority impacts outlined in our strategy and agreed with stakeholders. In support of this AgResearch has adopted a new operating model that is premised on strengthened partnerships, more proactive ‘demand’ creation and delivery of relevant and high quality science. Our guiding principles make explicit the requirement for committed and accountable leadership and behaviours that sustain us acting as One AgResearch.


Our new operating model is based on a matrix structure with a largely externally facing axis led by our Partnership and Programme Director and six Portfolio  Leaders; and a predominately internally facing axis led by our Research Director and six Science Group Leaders. Together these axes enable us to achieve our business strategy of building partnerships and delivering to stakeholders to maximise impact to the agricultural industry.

Try as I might, I cannot imagine working for an organisation that thought that this drivel was acceptable English.