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This NZ Super Fund annual report has won global and local awards for its communication approach, clarity and transparency, strongly aided by clean design and visual message enhancement.
As the government’s savings vehicle to help pay for future retirement benefits, it is important that the organisation’s governance and strategies are highly visible and above reproach.
The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is a government savings vehicle to help reduce the tax burden on future generations for retirement benefits. The annual report is one of NZ Super Fund’s key communication vehicles and its core philosophy is to have a high level of transparency and rigour.
The audience is broad: from the government sector, to overseas peer funds, external fund managers, potential investee companies, financial media and the wider financial community in New Zealand.
The key message in this report is the Fund’s international connectedness – of people, capital and ideas. Given New Zealand’s geographic isolation and market size, one of NZ Super Fund’s key strategies is to build and leverage relationships with global peers, to have an ear to the ground for global and local opportunities for investment, international knowledge and best practice, and co-operation in areas of joint interest.
It was this notion of reaching out beyond our territory that triggered the butterfly metaphor. At a universal level, the abstract paper cut-out butterfly keeps the concept as universal as possible, while still conveying our international connectivity in a positive and uplifting way. It is used individually to show our independence & collectively to illustrate the strength of operating in an international market. Our ‘hero’ butterfly for the purposes of detail is based on is the New Zealand native Glade Copper – a curious butterfly that will often abandon its post on branches to study other butterflies that flutter past before returning to the vegetation.
Young hands releasing the butterfly on the cover link to previous years’ themes of intergenerational wealth transfer, but also as a metaphoric launch pad, taking off on its journey and leaving New Zealand (investing overseas).
Again as with previous years, the opening spread builds on the concept, using multiple butterflies to illustrate coming together in a prosperous and positive way. This multiple effect speaks of community, connectedness and efficiency.
Clarity of communication and an easy user experience informed the detailed information page layout. The grid accommodated a narrow outer column, which allowed the otherwise-intimidating volume of text to feel accessible while also housing break-out text for communication layering. This was most effective when flicking through the document.
Another technique to aid navigation was the colour-coded financials which also utilised a stronger hued side bar visible from the trimmed edge of the document.
The report has won Gold Awards in both the New-York-based ARC Awards – for the world’s best Pension Fund annual report – and the Australasian Reporting Awards (ARA), garnering complimentary praise from the judges of both awards.