From:              Dot Kiwi Ltd
Received:      15 May 2012

Dot Kiwi Ltd strongly opposes the <> 2LD application. 

Dot Kiwi Limited ("DKL") is a New Zealand registered company, set up to apply for the Top Level Domain <.kiwi> and was formed in 2011. DKL has applied to register <.kiwi> as a gTLD under the current ICANN Top Level Domain expansion programme. DKL's application for the <.kiwi> gTLD was known to the applicant for the <> 2LD at the time of the 2LD application. This 2LD application follows a detailed discussion on the InternetNZ members list concerning whether or not InternetNZ should apply to register <.kiwi> as a Top Level Domain.  InternetNZ decided not to apply.

Dot Kiwi Ltd is opposed to the <> 2LD application due to the following:

1. The word "kiwi" does not represent a substantially different community or sub-set of the community the ccTLD represents. The New Zealand community is currently represented by <.nz>, the Kiwi community is not segregated or have significant differentiating factors from that of the community of New Zealand.  A <> 2LD creates duplicate representation of the same community.

2. A <> 2LD overlaps with the purposes of the existing generic 2LD <>. The <> 2LD is intended for "Individuals and other organisations not covered elsewhere". The Kiwi community is comprehensively represented by all existing 2LDs and indeed, as per above point 1, represented by the TLD itself. As such, a <> 2LD is not a useful addition to the current DNS hierarchy.

3. The role and purpose of a <> 2LD would create confusion for prospective registrants and users of domain names in New Zealand. The word "Kiwi" in the context of identity has the same definition as "New Zealand(er)", as such <> provides no distinction or specialisation at the second level. This will be a significant factor for user and registrant confusion.

4. Due to above points 1, 2 and 3, a <> 2LD unnecessarily dilutes the <.nz> namespace and brings into question the very purpose of a hierarchical and policy driven 2LD structure that is defined by distinct communities of interest. This results in bringing the <.nz> domain name space into disrepute and is highly undesirable.

5. The <> proposal defines the required community of interest very loosely.  The proposal has failed to define what it means to "be Kiwi" and consequently does not indicate who would identify with or be represented by the proposed 2LD.  At best, the definition indicates that "being Kiwi" is equal to "being a New Zealander", which as stated above creates nothing other than an overlap with existing 2LDs and the TLD itself.  It is not clear that the proposed definition meets the 2LD Policy requirement.

6. Per section 3.2 of Part A in the 2LD policy, Dot Kiwi Ltd believes that the Domain Name Commission has not received the <> 2LD application "Under normal circumstances". As such, special consideration should be given to external factors relating to the <> 2LD application. Dot Kiwi Ltd have been publically open and clear about its application to ICANN for the <.kiwi> gTLD. The green paper developed by InternetNZ on the matter of a possible <.kiwi> gTLD stated:

"We note that there will be a dotKiwi as there is at least one company that intends to bid for it."

It is inevitable that there will be a <.kiwi> gTLD specifically targeted to the New Zealand population and domain name market. Given this pending situation, it would seem obvious that a <> 2LD would significantly add to <.nz> 2LD confusion widely across the Internet community in New Zealand. A <> 2LD and a <.kiwi> TLD will be extremely confusing. Historically speaking, there has never been a TLD other than the <.nz> ccTLD that is intended for and directly marketed to the New Zealand Internet community. Therefore, drawing comparisons to pseudo gTLDs such as <.co> (with extremely minor market penetration within NZ) and concluding that <.kiwi> will result in the same outcome is irresponsible and shortsighted.  

In summary, Dot Kiwi Ltd considers that the <> 2LD application:

·         Will cause confusion with other existing 2LDs.

·         Will overlap (duplicate) in purpose with other existing 2LDs.

·         Will overlap with communities represented by all other 2LDs and by the ccTLD itself.

·         Is not a useful addition to the current DNS hierarchy.

·         Does not meet policy requirements to sufficiently define the community of interest it is intended to serve.

·         Brings the <.nz> domain name space into disrepute.

·         Is not received by the DNC "Under normal circumstances" and should be reviewed accordingly.

On the basis of the above, Dot Kiwi Ltd urges the Domain Name Commission to provide a responsible recommendation to the InternetNZ Council by recommending that the application be declined.

Tim Johnson
Director and CEO, Dot Kiwi Ltd