Disclaimers on websites
New Zealand Government organisations are encouraged to seek their own legal advice on whether to include a disclaimer on their website and, if so, its appropriate scope. Where a website does include a disclaimer, it’s recommended that a link to it be provided in an obvious location, for example, the footer on the home page.
While government organisations should strive to ensure that content on their sites is accurate and up to date, it’s inevitable that there will be occasions where some content inadvertently slips through or where third-party content over which the organisation has little or no control will appear on its website.
The disclaiming of content should be assessed on a case-by-case basis by reference to the website in question and the kinds of information it contains. For example, where material on a government website originates from outside government, the following may be appropriate:
"The following content from [source name] is provided for convenience. However, the [site owner] cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content. Visitors who rely on this information do so at their own risk."
A general disclaimer for links to information on non-government websites might read as follows:
"This website may provide links to non-government websites. The [site owner] is not responsible for the currency or accuracy of content on such websites and the inclusion of such links does not imply endorsement by the [site owner] of the linked website or its provider."
Consider all versions of the disclaimed content
Where organisations do add content disclaimers, they should be careful to ensure that the same disclaimer applies to all versions of the relevant content (such as emailed PDFs or web feeds) and that the disclaimers are sufficiently prominent to be brought to the attention of readers (in the absence of which they may not be binding).