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Numbers, dates, and times

Obviously, often includes numbers, dates, and times. To ensure that these are easy to read and understand, we follow clear rules and guidelines.


In general:

  • we use numerals instead of words when we write numbers – this helps you scan our content
  • we use commas and no spaces to separate thousands when the number is over 10,000
  • when we’re talking about numbers in the millions, we use the word 'million' instead of writing out the number in full
  • we use spaces to separate groups of numbers when we write phone numbers.

For example:

  • 'Your child must start school by the age of 6'.
  • '1.8 million people voted in the referendum'.
  • '... the 10th flag in the list'.
  • 'Freephone: 0800 101 996'.
  • 'Phone: +64 4 123 4567'.

Dates and times


  • write dates as day, month, year in full
  • don’t use ordinal numbers, like 1st or 3rd, in dates
  • show time using a 12-hour clock
  • show start and end times in full
  • use 'midnight' – not '00:00’
  • use ‘midday’ – not ‘12:00’
  • spell out the names of days and months in full
  • use a comma between week day and date
  • use a slash for a 12-month period that crosses two years
  • use 'to' instead of a dash in date and time ranges as it’s easier for screen readers to read out.

For example:

  • '12 December 2015'.
  • '5:30pm not 17:30hrs'.
  • '10am to 11am – not 10 to 11am'.
  • 'Monday to Friday'.
  • 'Friday, 23 November 2018'.
  • '10 November to 21 December 2016'.
  • '2016/17 for the financial year ended 30 June 2016'.

Contact us

If you’d like more information, have a question, or want to provide feedback, email

Content last reviewed 21 October 2020.