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Copyright statements for websites

Government organisations are encouraged to make information available easily, widely and equitably to the people of New Zealand. They should also allow people to reuse their copyright material.

Requirements for copyright statements

The NZ Government Web Usability Standard lists the requirements for copyright statements on public facing government websites.

Copyright requirements in the Web Usability Standard

As long as they follow the copyright requirements in the New Zealand Government Web Usability Standard, government organisations subject to the Standard can modify or supplement their own copyright statements as required.

Crown entities and State Owned Enterprises should note that they are not part of the ‘Crown’ in its legal sense and are expressly excluded from the definition of ‘Crown’ in the Copyright Act. As such, while they do own copyright in their original works, it’s not 'Crown copyright'. Accordingly, they should not use the phrase ‘Crown copyright in their copyright statements.


Consistent with the New Zealand Data and Information Management Principles, and the Declaration on Open and Transparent Government, government organisations are encouraged to:

  • proactively make information discoverable, accessible and available online (except where reasons preclude such availability as specified in legislation), and
  • license copyright works for re-use and enable open access to and re-use of non-copyright materials, in accordance with the New Zealand Government Open Access and Licensing (NZGOAL) framework.

New Zealand Data and Information Management Principles

Declaration on Open and Transparent Government

NZGOAL framework

Creative Commons CC BY 4.0 licence

Guidance on applying NZGOAL to your website copyright statement

NZGOAL Guidance Note 1: Website copyright statements

Third party copyright

Government organisations are not entitled to reproduce third-party copyright material on their websites without permission from the copyright owners (either directly or, in some cases, through licensees who have the right to sub-license) as reproduction without permission would constitute copyright infringement. In such cases, the organisation is obliged to seek permission to use third-party material from the relevant copyright owners.

Such material on an organisation’s website includes:

  • content presented as items sourced from a third party
  • downloadable items sourced from a third party
  • content 'pulled in' (for example, by web feed) from websites outside the ownership of the agency.

Particular care should be taken when reproducing material from third-party websites that those sites make available by web feed. The mere production by a website of a web feed does not entitle others to republish copyright-protected material in that feed without the copyright owner’s permission.


[Crown] copyright © Unless otherwise indicated, the material available on this website is protected by [Crown] copyright. You can reproduce this [Crown] copyright material free of charge without further permission, as long as you:

  • reproduce the material accurately
  • do not use the material in a derogatory manner or a misleading context, and
  • acknowledge the source and copyright status of the material.

The permission to use Crown copyright material does not extend to any material on this site that is identified as being the copyright of a third party.

Please note that this licence does not apply to any logos, emblems and trade marks on the website or to the website’s design elements. Those specific items may not be re-used without express permission.

The following example applies the NZGOAL framework and uses a Creative Commons licence.

[Crown copyright / Copyright] © Copyright material on the [name of website] is protected by copyright owned by [name of agency [on behalf of the Crown]] [or its licensors]. Unless indicated otherwise for specific items or collections of content (either below or within specific items or collections), this copyright material is licensed for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) International licence. In essence, you are free to copy, distribute and adapt the material, as long as you attribute it to [name of agency/licensor] and abide by the other licence terms. Please note that this licence does not apply to any logos, emblems and trade marks on the website or to the website’s design elements [or to any photography and imagery]. Those specific items may not be re-used without express permission.

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