Web Accessibility Standard 1.1
All public service and non-public service agencies must meet the NZ Government Web Accessibility Standard from 1 July 2019.
For help meeting the Accessibility Standard, see guidance in Accessibility.
1.1 Effective date
1.1.1 This Standard is effective 1 July 2019 and replaces the New Zealand Government Web Accessibility Standard 1.0.
1.2 Mandated organisations
1.2.1 Every Public service department and non-public service department in the State Services (‘Agency’) is directed by Cabinet [CAB Min (03) 41/2B] to apply this Standard.
1.3.1 The requirements in Section 2 (Requirements) apply to every public facing website and internally facing website (‘Website’) produced or maintained, in part or in whole, by the Agency.
1.4 Assessment and reporting
1.4.1 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.
2.1 Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 Level AA
2.1.1 Every web page, excluding archived web pages, must meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 at Level AA (subject to the exceptions set out in Section 3).
3.1 Temporary exceptions
3.1.1 The requirement in Section 2 is subject to the exceptions set out in this Section. These exceptions will be reviewed annually and this Standard updated as necessary.
3.2 Complex visual maps
3.2.1 Complex visual maps that associate information with one or more points or shapes that cannot reasonably be represented by common identifiers such as postal addresses or the names of specific places or regions are exempt from the requirement set by WCAG Success Criterion (SC) 1.1.1 Non-text Content to provide a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose. An example of a complex map is one that shows the distribution of different underground mineral deposits in New Zealand.
3.2.2 Where data points or shapes within a map can be represented by common identifiers such as postal addresses or the names of specific places or regions, the map must, in accordance with WCAG SC 1.1.1 Non-text Content, be accompanied by a text alternative that serves the equivalent purpose.
3.2.3 Complex map data should be published in open, machine-readable formats, and exposed through the data.govt.nz website.
3.3 Alternatives for time-based media (descriptive text transcripts)
3.3.1 In order to meet WCAG SC 1.2.1 Audio-only and Video-only (Prerecorded) and WCAG SC 1.2.3 Audio Description or Media Alternative (Prerecorded), an alternative for time-based media (descriptive text transcript) must be provided in all cases for prerecorded audio-only, prerecorded video-only, and prerecorded synchronised media.
3.3.2 An audio description must be provided for prerecorded video-only or synchronised media that contains high-stakes information or services.
3.4 Live captions
3.4.1 To meet WCAG SC 1.2.4 Captions (Live) , captions must be provided for the live audio content in all synchronised media that delivers high-stakes information or services where the equivalent information or services are not simultaneously published as text.
3.4.2 Live synchronised media that does not present high-stakes information or services is exempt from the requirement set by WCAG SC 1.2.4 Captions (Live) to provide captions.
3.4.3 If the live synchronised media is subsequently published as prerecorded media, captions and an alternative for time-based media (descriptive text transcript) must be provided.
3.5 Audio descriptions
3.5.1 All synchronised media are exempt from the requirement set by WCAG 1.2.5 Audio Description (Prerecorded) to provide audio description for all prerecorded video content in the media.
- 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.
- High-stakes information or services
Online information or services whose inaccessibility at the time of publication could reasonably be expected to have a negative impact on an individual’s emergency preparedness and response, health and safety, or critical civil and political rights, entitlements, services, or obligations. Examples include information or services related to:
- civil emergencies and responses
- entitlement or access to benefits, education, consumer or other community protections, passports, or visas
- rights in criminal and civil proceedings
- central government elections or referenda
- tax obligations and rebates
- general health information, specific health advice, health and safety in employment.
- Internally facing
A website or web page that can be accessed only by individuals who are employed by a New Zealand government Public service department or non-public service department in the State Services.
Web pages that are part of an intranet are considered to be internally facing.
- Main content
The content specific to a and directly related to that web page’s principal topic or functionality.
As defined in IETF RFC2119 , indicates an absolute requirement.
- Public facing
A website or web page that 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.
Note that this definition of website includes web applications, web services, and single page applications.
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 one or more web pages located at different fourth-level domains that belong to the same third-level domain, e.g. projectA.agency.govt.nz and serviceB.agency.govt.nz, constitute separate websites.
- Web page
This definition of web page includes web applications, web services, and single page applications.
In this section
About the Web Accessibility Standard
This overview is informative only and doesn't constitute part of the New Zealand Government Web Accessibility Standard. It's subject to change without notice.
Utility links and page information