My name is Bill Miles, I am the Sales and Marketing Manager for Tightlines Television; the media company responsible for The ITM Fishing Show. We recently had cause to question the legislation surrounding the issuing of .co.nz web addresses to firms from outside of NZ and the ease at which a non NZ based company can secure one. We have spent thousands of dollars and hours creating and building our brand and feel we have done a very good job at that. We now have the highest rating fishing show of TV and rank in the highest figures for sports show in general, and have achieved that in only our fourth season on air. We have DVD sales of over 40,000 units and that is from only two markets (NZ and Australia). We employ five full time staff and have a family of eighteen sponsors around us who employ anything from 1 to 1000 staff. They have invested heavily in us over the years and we have returned a strong product with a very recognisable brand; The ITM Fishing Show.
We were shocked then when we discovered an Australian based company had recently secured www.fishingshow.co.nz
This prompted us to try and secure some other domain names that we intend to use during an expansion into the US and Australia, but found that we could not secure the Australian version due to the fact that we are not a legal entity in Australia. So in a cruel twist, an Australian company can come to NZ and grab any free domain names they care to, and potentially hamstring our companies, but their governing bodies have made sure we can't return the favour.
With Australia being our closets trade partner, and knowing the ill effects that can be caused by securing someone's intellectual property, it would seem ignorant to assume that offshore companies won't try it on.
My submission is that only registered NZ companies should be allowed to use the .co.nz web address format; with the Companies Office criteria in becoming a registered NZ company serving as the minimum standard to adhere to.
P (09) 407-5922