Wednesday, 30th May, 2012

Important news for New Zealand domain name holders – second level domain names proposal

The Domain Name Commission has opened a consultation and submission process for the opening up of ‘second level’ domain name registrations in the .nz domain space.

The Domain Name Commission has opened a consultation and submission process for the opening up of 'second level' domain name registrations in the .nz domain space. Under the proposal, domains such as 'ajpark.nz' would be publicly available to register. This has the potential to significantly alter New Zealand's domain name space. At present only third level domains (for example ajpark.co.nz) are available.

The proposal suggests that registrations at the second level to be on a "first come, first served basis", except during a Sunrise Period. In that sunrise period, current owners of third level .nz domains (ajpark.co.nz) will have first option at the corresponding second level domain (ajpark.nz).

If the proposal is implemented, it will lead to many companies having to pay for two domain names (both ajpark.co.nz and ajpark.nz) so there is no confusion over website and email addresses. We don't think the proposal will make any more domain names available in a practical sense because most companies will have to register both abc.co.nz and abc.nz. Use of those two domains by different companies is likely to lead to confusion, so companies won't be able to risk leaving either available for third parties.

As part of the proposal, there is a process for dealing with two or more domain registrants currently owning the same domains at the third level. During the sunrise period, the suggestion is for "no-one [to be] able to register that name at the second level unless they obtain the consent of the other third level name holders."

The closing date for consultation submissions is 12pm, Thursday 27 September 2012.

See the .nz Domain Name Commission website (www.dnc.org.nz) for more details or contact us if you have any queries.