New Zealand-Specific Requirements

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Strategy and Operations

NZ 1.1.1: Agencies must have a formal web strategy

How to test

Does the agency responsible for the website have a web strategy? The strategy should at the least describe the purpose and audience of the agency's site(s).

NZ 1.2.1: When outsourcing web development, agencies must include a requirement for compliance with the New Zealand Government Web Standards in all relevant RFPs, RFIs and contracts

How to test

Do your agency's RFPs and development contracts state that sites developed for the agency must comply with the New Zealand Government Web Standards?

Content and design

NZ 2.1.1: Home page required content

Homepage content must include the following information, or link directly to it:

  • Contact information
  • About this site

The homepage must also contain the following:

  • A link to the website
  • The name and/or logo of the agency primarily responsible for the website

How to test

Visual inspection

NZ 2.1.2: About this site required content

Agency websites must provide a page or section called "About this site", or similar, which acts a convenient container of (or an index to) all site information.

The content of this section or page must contain as a minimum:

  • Site owner. Cleary specify the site owner. Where the site is not the main agency site, link back to the main agency site
  • Copyright. Provide copyright information here, or provide a link to copyright information. See the Copyright standard
  • Copyright of third parties. Provide copyright of third parties information here if relevant, or provide a link to copyright of third parties information. See the Copyright of third parties standard
  • Privacy. Provide privacy information here, or provide a link to privacy information. See the Privacy statement standard
  • Contact details. Provide contact information here, or provide a link to contact information. See the Contact information standard below
  • Disclaimer. If a disclaimer is required, provide information here, or provide a link to disclaimer information. See the Disclaiming content standard
  • Terms of use. Provide terms of use (terms and conditions) information here if required, or provide a link to terms of use information. See the Terms of use standard

How to test

Visual inspection

NZ 2.1.3: Contact information

How to test

Email addresses

Ask your agency webmaster if the email addresses below have been configured:

  • info@<domain>
  • postmaster@<domain>
  • webmaster@<domain>
  • privacy@<domain>
  • either complaints@<domain> or abuse@<domain>
  • either enquiries@<domain> or enquiry@<domain>

The agency must ensure email is monitored and, if requests for information are received, responded to in a timely way. It is at the discretion of the agency whether these email addresses are published on the site.

Physical location and telephone contact details

Check that the website provides the following contact details for all offices, except where there are strong security or business reasons not to do so:

  • Telephone numbers
  • Street locations

NZ 2.1.4: Legal and policy information

Agency websites must provide information on privacy, copyright, etc as required by the Legal and Policy standards. Note that this information may be provided on the "About this site" page, or on individual pages.

How to test

Visual inspection

NZ 2.1.5: Publicly available reports

At the minimum, agencies must publish their Statements of Intent and Annual Reports. Note: only corporate (or "main" sites) are required to supply media releases and other public information.

How to test

Visual inspection

NZ 2.1.6: Media releases and other public information

Agency websites must provide all agency media releases, and other public information such as public notices, warnings and advice. These must be published online as soon as they are formally released. Note: only corporate (or "main" sites) are required to supply media releases and other public information.

How to test

Visual inspection

NZ 2.1.7: Site owner (clearly identified)

Cleary specify the site owner. Where the site is not the main agency site, provide a link back to the main agency site.

How to test

Visual inspection

NZ 2.2.1 Linking to non-HTML files

Provide format and size information for links to non-HTML file types, e.g., Getting a ship into a bottle (PDF, 1.3MB).

How to test

Visual inspection

NZ 2.3.1 Printing web pages

A webpage's core information (usually the main page text) must be able to be printed in whole on standard sheets of paper.

Note that the following non-core content should be excluded from printing:

  • Primary content navigation
  • Secondary content navigation
  • Department/agency/programme or thematic banner
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Search box

Pages should also print as black text on a white background.

How to test

Use the browser's print preview functionality to see if the web page's core information fits on one or more standard sheets of A4 paper, in either portrait or landscape orientation.

Legal and Policy

NZ 3.1.1: Copyright

Refer to standard NZ 3.1.1 for more information.

How to test

Visual inspection

NZ 3.1.2: Copyright of third parties

Refer to standard NZ 3.1.2 for more information.

How to test

Visual inspection

NZ 3.1.3: Privacy statement

Refer to standard NZ 3.1.3 for more information.

How to test

Visual inspection

NZ 3.1.4: Disclaiming content

Refer to standard NZ 3.1.4 for more information.

How to test

Visual inspection

NZ 3.1.5: Terms of use

Refer to standard NZ 3.1.5 for more information.

How to test

Visual inspection


Technologies and techniques which must be used

NZ 4.1.1: UTF- 8 character encoding must be used

UTF-8 character encoding helps to ensure consistency of data across government and best enables multilingual support.

How to test

View the page source code, and check that one of the following lines exists within the <head>:

<meta content="text/html; charset=utf-8" http-equiv="content-type" />


<meta charset="utf-8">

NZ 4.1.2:  Validation - all pages must validate to a published grammar

How to test

Validate the code of your site by entering the URL of selected pages at You should validate a site’s home page and content pages representative of different templates used on the site. If the site only uses one design template for content, validate a small number of pages looking for any errors in content. If you get any errors from your validation test, check "No" in the self-assessment. If you are comfortable summarising the validation errors, include this summary in the question's associated comments field.

NZ 4.1.3: Language codes

Where English is the language of the page (WCAG 2.0 SC 3.1.1) or the language of part of the page (WCAG 2.0 SC 3.1.2), use the language code "en-NZ". Where the language is Māori, use "mi". For other languages, see the updated list at the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority.

How to test

Check the language codes used in the lang (and xml:lang if applicable) attributes on the page's html element in the source code. If the page is in English, check that the language code used is "en-NZ". If the page is in Māori, check that "mi" is used. For passages of Māori text on a page in another language, check that the lang (and xml:lang if applicable) attribute value identifying the Māori text is "mi". Similarly for passages of English text on a non-English page: check that the passage's language is identified with "en-NZ".

Technologies which may be used but not relied on

NZ 4.2.1: Scripts, applets and other programmatic objects

Information or services in web pages or applications must be available without scripts, applets and other programmatic objects. This includes Flash, Silverlight, Java and JavaScript. See the Applications and accessible alternatives web guide.

How to test

Disable JavaScript in your browser. There are a few ways to do this.

In Internet Explorer 8 and above, you can use the Developer Tools that come with the browser. To open the Developer Tools, press the F12 key or select "Developer Tools" ("F12 developer tools" in Internet Explorer 9) from the browser's "Tools" menu. In the Developer Tools window, go to the "Disable" menu and select "Script". This will disable JavaScript in the browser and automatically refresh the page.

There is a second way to do this in Internet Explorer, but it is a little trickier. Open "Internet Options" from the "Tools" menu. On the "Security" tab, select "Custom level...". Quite a way down in the "Settings" dialog that opens up are options to enable and disable "Active Scripting". After disabling scripting, refresh the page.

In Firefox, uncheck “Enable JavaScript” in the "Content" tab of the "Options" window. Close the "Options" window and refresh the page. An even easier way is to install the Web Developer toolbar add-on and use its "Disable JavaScript" feature.

With scripting disabled, check that all core or important content and functionality of the site are still available. Check that search and any forms work properly.

NZ 4.2.2: Content in document formats other than HTML

If you publish content in formats other than HTML, it must be published in at least two formats, ONE of which, must be accessible. Well-constructed Word documents or RTF are examples of accessible formats. This flowchart may help in understanding the process of publishing documents online.

The exceptions are:

  • where no accessible format for the content exists;
  • documents created before October 31 2009;
  • forms needing to be printed and signed, in which case all explanatory notes and guidance need to be provided in HTML;
  • documents created wholly by other parties;
  • where time pressures dictate that a document be published quickly in a format such as PDF, in which case you must have a plan to provide an accessible alternative in a timely manner, and it must be noted on the site.

In all of these cases, you must publish a summary of the contents and purpose of the document, and provide a means of contact to help people who may need access to the contents of the document.

How to test

Review each page to be assessed. If it contains linked non-HTML documents, ensure that all of the above conditions are met.

NZ 4.2.3: Stylesheets

Sites must work properly with stylesheets disabled.

How to test

With CSS disabled in your browser, you should still be able to navigate and perceive the information on the website intelligently.

Technologies and techniques which must not be used

NZ 4.3.1: Frameset doctype

The Frameset doctype must not be used.

How to test

Check to ensure that pages don’t use frames: confirm that the DOCTYPE element in the head of the page source doesn’t specify a FRAMESET doctype.

Note that IFRAMES are an acceptable means of embedding content in web pages, but they must be treated with some care including proper labelling and titles. Contact the Web Standards team if you need guidance with the use of IFRAMES.

NZ 4.3.2: Underlining

Underlining must not be used for headings or non-link text.

How to test

Scan the content of selected pages to ensure that underlining is ONLY used to denote links.

NZ 4.3.3: Mark-up redirects

Mark-up redirects (code within HTML or JavaScript files) must not be used to automatically redirect pages.

How to test

Check the source code on the web page to ensure that <meta http-equiv="refresh..."> elements are not present in the <head> element of the source. Instead, configure the server to perform redirects.

NZ 4.3.4: Server-side image maps must not be used

How to test

If you are aware of any image maps used in the site, check the HTML source to make sure the map's regions are defined inside the <map> using <area> elements, for example:

<map name="mymap"> <area shape="circle" coords="70,84,51" href=""> <area shape="rect" coords="25,180,125,280" href=""> ... </map>

The code example below, with the ISMAP attribute on the <img> element, is for a server-side image map and should NOT be used:

<img src="images/shapes.jpg" width="375" height="102" style="border: none;" ismap="ismap" />

NZ 4.4.1: Browser testing (Yahoo Graded Browser Support)

All new or significantly redeveloped websites must be tested against all browser and operating system combinations identified as A grade by Yahoo! Graded Browser Support.

Agencies must also test against at least one browser not graded A, on a platform of their choice. Agencies might choose a non-A grade browser by considering their website statistics.

How to test

Free utilities on the web such as and provide an effective means of checking that the visual layout of a site is properly rendered across different browsers and platforms. They may also offer virtualised environments which allows you to test the functionality of a site across browser/platform combinations.

The most reliable way to test browser/platform combinations is to check that a site functions normally on the physical platforms you’re targetting, which means you need to have direct access to those platforms. If you don’t have access to all the platforms you need to test, try putting put out a call to the Government Web Community for help.