Question 1. If you consider registering a .nz domain name in the future, would you like anyname.nz to be an option rather than a name under just the second levels, e.g. anyname.co.nz?
My opinion on this has not changed since the first consultation and I still stand by what I said in my submission then. The relevant parts: "New Zealand has a single top level domain name .nz allocated to it. Currently we severely restrict the second level within that name which allows plenty of room for expansion as the needs of the New Zealand Internet community change. The ability to do this is dependent on suitable names being available. If we allow direct registration at the second level, nearly all of the good names would be snapped up in a feeding frenzy either during the sunrise period by existing name holders or immediately after public registration is opened. "Two years ago my submission to the “Second Level Domains Policy Review”i said inter alia “I can't see any likely benefit in the near future for creating more unmoderated 2LDs” and although I supported its creation, quietly believed that the .kiwi.nz proposal would have great difficulty getting the necessary 1,000 registrations in the first month, yet it surprised me by achieving this in the first 15 minutes ii. Had direct registrations at the second level been permitted it is highly likely that kiwi.nz would have been registered and this would have been impossible. Equally I regard it as highly unlikely that anyone would have thought to reserve kiwi.nz for future expansion. "As another, hypothetical, example we now know that the global top level domain for websites aimed at mobile devices .mobi was not a huge success, but had it been one then there might have been a desire to provide a similar facility for the .NZ space. It would have made sense to create .mobi.nz for this purpose, but with unregulated registrations at the second level it is unlikely that this would have been reserved. "In 2014 there may be an unexpected run-away success in the global top level namespace and it would make sense to have an equivalent second level namespace inside .NZ. With this proposed change doing this with the equivalent name would probably be impossible. "I have seen very few explanations as to why this proposed change is a good change to make. Most of the submissions in favour are along the lines of “I have xxx.co.nz and want xxx.nz”. Well, I have clement.co.nz and would dearly like to have clement.nz, but that is not a sufficient reason to abandon the ability to create new second level name hierarchies that we can't predict today."
Question 2. Would likely short term confusion over a transition period be an acceptable consequence for offering a long term option of allowing .nz registrations at the second level?
People soon adjust to changed circumstances. In addition most people are used to seeing .com, .us etc names. I doubt that confusion, if any, would last for more than a month or two after .nz becomes available.
Question 3. Do you agree that existing .nz registrants should get a priority right in obtaining their name at the second level if this proposal proceeds?
Although there are exceptions, the general case is that the existing x.co.nz registrants have the greatest investment in “x” and identification with it. They often have established businesses around the registered name and if .nz replaces the .co.nz as the preferred name that businesses or other organisations should have then they should be given the opportunity to obtain them.
Question 4. Do you agree with the approach in the draft amended policies if we proceed with this? What, if anything, would you change?
Proposed Registering, Managing and Cancelling Domain Names Policy Clause 7.7.2 "Applications must be made on the DNC website" I hope that this does not imply a form requiring domains to be listed one at a time as this would be a lot of work for anyone managing more than a dozen or so domain names. If requests must be made through a website please provide a facility to upload a file of Domain names, possibly comma delimited. Alternatively you could provide a facility to email the file. Clause 220.127.116.11 reads "there will be no charge to the registrant for this initial one month period. They will be required to pay any costs to transfer and renew the newly registered name with their registrar;" I was of the opinion that in .nz there is no charge to transfer domain names between registrars. Does this imply that charging for transfers is to be expected? Clause 7.8.3 reads "At any time the registrant of a reserved name can choose to activate the name by adding name servers and delegating the domain name to the .nz zone file. At this time, normal domain name registration fees will apply;" I feel this would make more sense if it read "At any time the registrant of a reserved name can choose to activate the name by using their UDAI to transfer it to their own registrar. At this time, normal domain name registration fees will apply;" Clause 7.9.5 "The DNC may decline to register the third level name at second level if the DNC is satisfied that the competing registrant’s consent [...]" What happens if the domain name is already registered before the DNC becomes aware of this after the domain name is registered? I'd suggest adding a clause between 7.9.4 and this clause saying that competing registrants will be notified of the registration of the .nz domain name and allowing the registration to be cancelled in the first month if the DNC becomes aware of the illegal or against policy activity. To protect innocent parties I'd suggest that a ban on further transferring or changing the registrant during this period, this is similar to the rules on new domain names during the five day grace period.
Question 5. Do you support the proposal that a current registrant of a .nz name at the third level should be able to reserve that name at the second level for no cost if they wish to block others from registering it but not actually utilise it themselves?
I support the reservation at no cost, but I feel it isn't for the purpose of "blocking" but to allow the existing registrants a chance to determine which of the two domain name is the important one for them to have. One commonly made objection to the registration at the second level proposal is that businesses with existing domain names would be “forced” to register an additional domain name. The current perceived wisdom is that businesses should have the .co.nz matching their business or trading name and that other .nz second level domains are of minimal interest. If implemented this proposal disrupts that wisdom and it may be necessary in the future to have either the .nz or the .co.nz (or possibly both) but in the short term it would be prudent for businesses to secure both names if possible. Without the reservation mechanism this would require them to register a domain name they aren't wanting to use and may cost businesses with a sensible number of domain names an additional $20 to $400 per annum in registration fees.
Question 6. Is two years an appropriate time to wait before reviewing policy to allow a reservation at no cost? Should this time frame be longer?
Two years should be adequate for businesses to decide if their market expects them to have the domain name. I see no reason why it should be extended.
Question 7. Is two years an appropriate time to wait before reviewing the policy to extend the Dispute Resolution Service to sub-domains of second level registrations? Should this time frame be longer?
I don't believe that this should be more than a transitional procedure for a short two year period. Two years seems very cautious and I can't see any benefit in having a longer term.
Question 8. Do you see any benefits from allowing registrations at the second level which have not been covered in this paper?
Question 9. Do you see any detrimental effects from allowing registrations at the second level which have not been covered in this paper?
Please see my answer to question 1.