Question 1. Should the New Zealand domain name space be extended to allow registration at the second level, for example yourname.nz?
The point of domains is to make it easier to access Internet services at a particular address. Adding .nz will increase the number of domains one needs to buy in order to control a name and add to the confusion of Internet users who already need to know whether a domain is .com, .co.nz, .org.nz etc. The only beneficiaries are registrars and the DNC who can rake in more fees. In contrast I think there are already too many unmoderated second-level domains and some are unnecessary like .school.nz, .geek.nz, .maori.nz, and putting my hypocrite hat on, .net.nz. There's no need to follow ICANN's lead in adding to user confusion with ever more top-level domains. I would support a shift to ONLY allowing second-level registrations and phasing out the existing third-level domains entirely if there was a realistic way to get there from here.
Question 2. Are there any other undertakings that the Domain Name Commission should make while developing/implementing the policy?
Any existing second-level registrations should disallow new third-level registrations with the same name, unless all third-party registrants agree. This includes a case with only one third-party registrant who chooses not to register the second-level domain: no-one else should be allowed to register it. This should apply indefinitely, not just for the sunrise period.
Question 3. Should new second level domains be created to cater for particular interest groups, such as .wine.nz or .sport.nz?
And existing unnecessary second-level domains should be closed to new registrations - school (which duplicates ac) and gen, maori and net which cover interest groups rather than broad categories of organisation.
Question 4. Should new moderated second level domains be created to cater for domain names that require special protection, such as .bank.nz?
If there's demand for it and the moderation will restrict the number of registrations to a low level. Banks are OK, but a moderation that still allows a large number of registrations (say .ltd.nz for companies, or .name.nz limited to a person's legal name) I would oppose.
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?
At the very least com, gov, edu, nz, name, shop, web, biz, info, bank, mobi, and any internationalized names that look similar (e.g. cōm). Perhaps names that are registered within .govt.nz should be restricted to only the .govt.nz registrant. I think any names that other English-speaking countries use as 2LDs, gTLDs, and ccTLDs should be prohibited. Also any other generic names. It may be best to require names to be at least five characters.
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?
This reduces the risk of third parties buying names that will cause confusion with existing domains. Typosquatters will do this deliberately to undermine existing domains.
Question 7. Who should be allowed to register a domain name at the second level when there are competing registrations at the third level?
No-one unless they are all registered by the same person or can agree who gets it.
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?
Even after the sunrise period this should continue. No second-level registrations should be allowed that conflict with third-level registrations without the agreement of all third-level holders. If there is only one third-level holder, the second-level registration should still be prohibited for anyone else, even after the sunrise period.
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?
This is better addressed by restricting the available second-level domains - see my answer to question 5.
Question 10. Is the approach as outlined in the proposed amended policy in Appendix C appropriate? Why?
Although I'm worried about the ability of the DNC to enforce this. What does it mean in practice to check whether a subdomain has been deleted? Does that mean the subdomain must not be resolvable (effectively prohibiting wildcards), or that it's not used in a way that interferes with the Complainant's rights?
Question 11. Are there any other comments you would like to make relating to this consultation?