Web Usability Standard 1.1

Archived web page

The content on this web page is no longer current or maintained, but remains online for reference purposes. To request an accessible or alternative version of this page's content, please contact us.

Note: This Standard has been superseded. Please see the current version of the Web Usability Standard.

1 Application

1.1 Context

1.1.1 This Standard updates the Web Usability Standard 1.0. It clarifies the requirements in sections 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, and 2.6 without altering their original intent or adding new requirements.

1.2 Mandated organisations

1.2.1 Application of this Standard is mandatory for all Public Service departments and Non-Public Service departments in the State Services.

1.3 Scope

1.3.1 The requirements in Section 2 apply to all publicly available websites.

1.4 Implementation schedule

1.4.1 This Standard, effective 01 October 2013, updates and replaces the Web Usability Standard 1.0 which came into effect 01 July 2013.

1.4.2 Each website must conform to this Standard by 30 June 2014.

1.5 Assessment and reporting

1.5.1 Each New Zealand Government organisation to which this Standard applies must be prepared, when notified, to:

  • assess and report on its conformance with this Standard; and,
  • in the case of non-conformance with this Standard, submit a risk assessment and management plan regarding any areas of non-conformance.

2 Requirements

2.1 Home page

2.1.1 Each home page must include:

  • the name and/or logo of the New Zealand Government organisation primarily responsible for the website; and,
  • a visible link to newzealand.govt.nz.

2.2 Contact information

2.2.1 Each website must have a web page named “Contact us” or similar through which assistance related to the website or responsible New Zealand Government organisation can be requested.

2.2.2 A link to the website’s “Contact us” or similar web page must be visible on the website’s home page, and the link’s text must unambiguously indicate its target as being the website’s “Contact us” or similar web page.

2.2.3 The website’s “Contact us” or similar web page must include:

  • the address of an email account that is regularly monitored by the website’s responsible organisation;
  • the telephone number for each call centre that supports a service provided by the website; and,
  • a regularly monitored postal address.

2.2.4 The website’s “Contact us” or similar web page should include:

  • the number of a monitored telephone line; and,
  • a physical street address, if applicable.

2.3.1 Each website must contain a general copyright statement that:

  • states that copyright material on the website is protected by copyright; and,
  • sets out the licensing terms under which that material can be re-used by others.

2.3.2 A link to the copyright statement required by section 2.3.1 must be visible on the website’s home page, and the link’s text must unambiguously indicate its target as being the copyright statement.

2.3.3 Each website that contains third party copyright material must state, either within the copyright statement required by section 2.3.1 and/or within or near to each item of third party copyright material:

  • the source and copyright status of such material in a way that avoids ambiguity as to which content items are subject to third party copyright;
  • that the website’s re-use licence does not apply to material that is subject to third party copyright; and,
  • that permission to re-use third party copyright material cannot be given by the New Zealand Government organisation responsible for the website.

2.3.4 The copyright statement required by section 2.3.1 should state that the general licensing terms do not apply to material on the website that is covered by the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act 1981.

2.3.5 The New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing framework (NZGOAL) should be applied when selecting the licensing terms that apply to copyright material on the website.

2.4 Privacy

2.4.1 Each website must contain a privacy statement that clearly indicates:

  • the scope of the statement (e.g. “This privacy notice applies to personal information collected on [the organisation’s] website: ministry.govt.nz”);
  • the circumstances in which personal information is collected, by whom it is held (e.g. the responsible organisation and/or third parties) and any choices users have as to whether such information is collected in the first place;
  • the uses to which collected personal information may be put by the collecting organisation and the circumstances in which it may be disclosed;
  • the collection and use of statistical information, including users’ IP addresses;
  • a statement that cookies are used, if that is the case, and a brief description of their purpose;
  • users’ rights to request access to or to correct personal information held by the collecting organisation; and,
  • contact details for such purposes.

2.4.2 A link to the privacy statement required by section 2.4.1 must be visible on the website’s home page, and the link’s text must unambiguously indicate its target as being the privacy statement.

2.5.1 With the exception of links on archived web pages, each link to a non-HTML file must be accompanied by information indicating the file’s format and size.

2.6 Printable web pages

2.6.1 The main content of each web page, with the exception of archived web pages, must be printable in its entirety on standard sheets of paper.

2.6.2 The following types of web page content should not be printed:

  • primary content navigation;
  • secondary content navigation;
  • thematic or decorative banner;
  • breadcrumbs;
  • search form.

2.6.3 A web page’s text content should be printable by default as black text on a white background.

3 Glossary

Archived web page

A web page:

  • whose main content is available for reference purposes but otherwise neither maintained nor updated;
  • whose main content is clearly marked as archived; and,
  • that includes accessible instructions on how a user can request an accessible version of its content.
Main content

The content specific to a web page and directly related to that web page’s principal topic or functionality.


As defined in IETF RFC2119, indicates an absolute requirement.

Publicly available

A website or web page that:

  • is produced or maintained, in part or in whole, by the New Zealand Government organisation to which this Standard applies; and,
  • can be accessed by individuals who are not employed by a New Zealand Government Public Service department or Non-Public Service department in the State Services.

This includes a website or web page behind a login authentication mechanism that controls access by users outside the responsible New Zealand Government organisation.


As defined in IETF RFC2119, indicates a recommended course of action that there may be valid reasons under certain conditions to ignore, the full implications of which must be understood and carefully weighed before doing so.

Should not

As defined in IETF RFC2119, indicates a course of action that is not recommended but that may be acceptable or even useful to take under certain conditions, the full implications of which must be understood and carefully weighed before doing so.


A coherent collection of one or more related web pages that together provide common use or functionality. It includes static web pages, dynamically generated web pages, and web applications.

Note: … Websites may be composed of smaller sub-sites, each of which can be considered to be an individual website. For example, a website may include an online shop, an area for each department within the organization, a blog area, and other areas that may each be considered to be a website.

Website Accessibility Conformance Evaluation Methodology (WCAG-EM) 1.0. Copyright © 2013 W3C® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio, Beihang), All Rights Reserved.

A department’s corporate website (e.g. agency.govt.nz) may comprise multiple sections (e.g. agency.govt.nz/service-a and agency.govt.nz/service-b) owned and/or administered by organisationally distinct units within the department. For the purposes of this Standard, these individual sections may be considered separate websites.

Note that collections of web pages located at different fourth-level domains that belong to the same third-level domain, e.g. projectA.agency.govt.nz and projectB.agency.govt.nz, constitute separate websites.

Web page

A non-embedded resource obtained from a single URI using HTTP plus any other resources that are used in the rendering or intended to be rendered together with it by a user agent.

Note 1: Although any “other resources” would be rendered together with the primary resource, they would not necessarily be rendered simultaneously with each other.

Note 2: For the purposes of conformance with these guidelines, a resource must be “non-embedded” within the scope of conformance to be considered a Web page.

Example 1: A Web resource including all embedded images and media.

Example 2: A Web mail program built using Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX). The program lives entirely at http://example.com/mail, but includes an inbox, a contacts area and a calendar. Links or buttons are provided that cause the inbox, contacts, or calendar to display, but do not change the URI of the page as a whole.

Example 3: A customizable portal site, where users can choose content to display from a set of different content modules.

Example 4: When you enter “http://shopping.example.com/” in your browser, you enter a movie-like interactive shopping environment where you visually move around in a store dragging products off of the shelves around you and into a visual shopping cart in front of you. Clicking on a product causes it to be demonstrated with a specification sheet floating alongside. This might be a single-page Web site or just one page within a Web site.

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. Copyright © 2008 W3C® (MIT, ERCIM, Keio), All Rights Reserved.

Note that this definition of web page includes what are commonly referred to as web applications.