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Blog » .nz domains could be coming soon

The Domain Name Commission, a non-profit society that co-ordinates the development of the Internet in New Zealand, is proposing to start allowing anybody to register domain names at the ‘second level’. That means for example that this website could have the address sww.nz instead of sww.co.nz. The DNC are currently at the stage of consulting with the public to give the public an opportunity to have their say
before any decisions are made about extending the second level.

According to the DNC website the key features of the .nz proposals include:

What does this mean for existing NZ website owners?

If the proposal takes effect, there will be a ‘Sunrise Period’ of a few months where holders of existing nz domains will have the the oppertunity to register their domain at the second level. In the case where there are multiple competing third level domains (e.g. myname.co.nz, myname.net.nz, myname.org.nz), the proposal is that consent would be required from the other parties before one of the domain holders could register the domain at the second level. If consent is not possible then no one would be able to register that domain at the second level.

You can read more about this proposal at the DNC website or view the consulation paper.

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2 Responses to “.nz domains could be coming soon”

  1. Chris N Says:

    I still don’t see .nz domains on sale. Perhaps there could be some good domain name hacks possible with it. It will be a land grab if it happens. Will this dilute the value of .co.nz?

  2. Aidan Curran Says:

    It appears there was a lot of opposition to the proposal. e.g. Telecom NZ’s submission is typical:

    Should the New Zealand domain name space be extended to allow registration at the second level, for example yourname.nz?
    No
    This proposal poses significant risks and disadvantages for New Zealand businesses and consumers including: – Increased registration and administration costs (time and money) for securing .nz domain names corresponding to all a business’s existing domain names – Consumer confusion as to which domain name to look up or which is the premium or “default” top level domain name. Currently the vast majority of .nz domain names are “.co.nz”, making it the expected standard – Security risk from emails sent to @name.nz or @name.co.nz in error (this is more likely than existing confusion, eg between .net.nz and .co.nz, because currently .co.nz is the standard business address for most companies) – Security risk from scam sites being set up by squatters (if owners do not or cannot register .nz version, or if scammers obtain confusing second-level domains like .shop.nz) – Technical obstacles involved in migrating an entire existing website from one domain name to another, or redirecting traffic to original .co.nz website from .nz address – Peripheral and associated costs in changing stationery, updating online address books, promoting consumer awareness of new domain name etc The logical conclusion is most owners of .co.nz addresses will want/need to register the .nz address to avoid other businesses or cyber squatters registering them. This means increased costs and a decision whether to migrate entire website over to .nz (at great cost) or redirect .nz traffic to .co.nz site (also at cost). There seem to be no compelling policy reasons for going ahead with the change. There is not a shortage of existing domain names, “.co.nz” is not overly cumbersome, and the current system of limited and moderated second-level names (“.govt”, “.school” etc) is working well.

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