Question 1. Should the New Zealand domain name space be extended to allow registration at the second level, for example yourname.nz?
The existing system works well in my view to provide an excellent balance of available space for commercial use, organisational use (not for profit etc), and protected (moderated) space for specialist 2nd level usage. The current model is working perfectly well. I cannot understand the driving need to change this currently, perhaps this has not been expressed properly? Allowing (largely) unrestricted registrations at a 2nd level would do nothing more than increase operational costs for those who already have obtained their place within the 3rd level space, it would devalue the existing 3rd level registrations and introduce unnecessary work and cost for those who aim to protect an existing, established web presence / identity. Apart from increasing funds taken from domain registration, and creating new business for registrars (through the increased costs to registrants) I cannot see any up-side to this. (Unless you are one of those people who missed out on a decent name registration at the 3rd level, in which case, you're unfortunately also going to miss out on a registration at the 2nd level, given that the incumbant registrants at the 3rd level will complete (and succeed) to block you from the 2nd too... All this does is increase cost and work, without really providing any true benefit to registrants. Registrars will support this, they make more $$$. Existing registrants should not support this. People with vested interests on existing moderated 2nd level domains will (should) strongly fight this.
Question 2. Are there any other undertakings that the Domain Name Commission should make while developing/implementing the policy?
Ditch this idea, and focus on providing more, interest or specialist 2nd level domains; strictly for the purpose of grouping additional 3rd level domain registrations. No 2nd level domains should be controlled, managed or moderated by any private, corporate interest. All 2nd level domains need to be moderated or managed with their own public policies which need to form part of the registration request. All 2nd level domain requests ought to be soley for the purpose of making additional 3rd level domain names available. .NZ should continue to operate at the third level.
Question 3. Should new second level domains be created to cater for particular interest groups, such as .wine.nz or .sport.nz?
Absolutely, for the purposes of allowing the registration of 3rd level domains under these new groups. There is an existing process which has worked perfectly well to establish new 2nd level domains for these purposes... .geek.nz .health.nz .maori.nz etc etc.. This is working fine, don't mess with it.
Question 4. Should new moderated second level domains be created to cater for domain names that require special protection, such as .bank.nz?
Assuming that you do not pass this modification and that no general 2nd level domains are made available... You do not specifically have to reserve any space.. If you continue with the existing model, and allow those interest groups to lobby for their own 2nd level domain space reservation, then this process should take care of these groups. If you do permit general 2nd level registration then how can you possibly guarantee that you would manage to reserve or hold back all appropriate potential names which may need protection? You could only make a 'best efforts' guess at what this should include. Some will be disadvantaged by this too. - How do you ensure that it's fairly applied?? For example, the response from the MoH and NHB suggests that all *health* domain names, that is any domain which contains the word health should be disallowed, this is problematic given that there are bonafide 3rd level domains which use these words, and ought to be afforded the same chance as all other users to secure their own 2nd level version (if this does indeed get passed). It's unmanageable.
Question 5. Should the registration of some names such as .com.nz or .gov.nz, be prohibited at the second level to minimise potential confusion? What names, if any, should be prohibited?
Assuming that you don't pass this change. You wouldn't have to protect these names, they would be protected by the current processes, they would be rejected by these. If you do pass these changes, then the argument here is similar to that in Q4 - how to you possibly ensure that you restrict enough, without impeding bonefide commercial activity in this space.
Question 6. Do you agree with the rationale for the Sunrise Period that would enable existing .nz domain name holders first chance to register names at the second level? Why?
If you don't pass this change, then this is unnecessary, however if you do pass this change then it's critically important that you do give the existing name holders the chance to protect their established identities in order not to devalue their existing 3rd level domains too much. This is a mess, it shouldn't get passed. People have not directly addressed the increased cost of appropriate domain ownership yet. This seems like a money raising effort (only). I would hope to see a reduction in the price of .nz domains across the board if this happens, in order to keep the overall cost of ownership and brand protection down to a similar level to the current costs. If this greatly increases the cost overall, there should be public objection to this.
Question 7. Who should be allowed to register a domain name at the second level when there are competing registrations at the third level?
Those who have an active presence on the web using their 3rd level. There too much in the way of squatting currently still. If there's competing interest from .net.nz, .org.nz and .co.nz owners, then surely some form of assessment over who actively uses their 3rd level domains is relevant. Failing that if they're all active, perhaps go back and see who is the longest holding variant.??
Question 8. Assuming only persons with a conflicting third level domain name may apply, how should that conflict be resolved? By consent? Or some other mechanism?
See answer to Q7: Check to see who is actively using their web-presence, then of those actively using them, see who holds the earliest registration.
Question 9. Should the Domain Name Commission consider extending its Dispute Resolution Service for a limited period to cover particular sub-domains when considering whether a name registered at the second level infringes a complainant’s rights?
It would need to run for as long as the sun-rise period is established for, then continue until all disputes are resolved.
Question 10. Is the approach as outlined in the proposed amended policy in Appendix C appropriate? Why?
Question 11. Are there any other comments you would like to make relating to this consultation?
Please don't pass this, whilst it's worth exploring it's not needed and will cause far more headaches than it's worth. Sure, the registrars will benefit, the overall count of names registered would increase, but this does not necessarily reflect value to registrants, or indeed a benefit to registrants. It simply means there's going to be more disputes, fighting, cost, effort etc etc etc. With very little true, NEW benefit as a result of this.