F.A.Q. .nz registrations directly at the second level

1. I haven’t heard of this before.  What does the change to allow .nz registrations directly at the second level mean?

This change means that people now have more choice when getting a .nz domain name.  This is because existing second levels – like the .co in .co.nz and the .org in  .org.nz – are optional.  So, you can register with them, without them, or both. 

As an example, you could get anyname.co.nz as well as anyname.nz. 

2. When did this change happen?

This change happened from 1pm, 30 September 2014.

3. What are the benefits?

There are many reasons people asked for this change.  Some of the main ones included: 

• More choice in .nz domain names.

• More representative domain names. For example, many people have co.nz domain names even though they are not businesses. 

• Shorter domain names. 

• Aligning New Zealand with many other countries that have already made this change. 

4. What's happened to existing second level domains like .co.nz, .govt.nz and .net.nz?

There's been no change to existing second levels and people can still register domain names with them if they want to.   If you have an existing one, and wish to keep it, you should continue to pay the registration fee. 

5. So what happens if I want a new domain name?

There is no change for those who want a new .nz domain name, except that they now have more choice.  As always, people will register .nz domain names through an authorised .nz Registrar. 

6. What is a Registrar?

A Registrar is someone who has been authorised to register domain names.  A list of all authorised .nz Registrars is available at: /registrars

7. I have a .nz domain name already.  What will happen to it and what do I need to know? 

Nothing has happened to your existing domain name and you can continue to use it as you always have. However, depending on when you registered it, you may have been entitled to Preferential Registration Eligibility (PRE) - meaning you were able to register or reserve your name directly at the second level before anyone else. 

The PRE period has now closed and all .nz names that hadn’t already been registered or reserved are now available for general registration – first come, first served

8. I’ve heard some Registrants with .nz domain names had something called Preferential Registration Eligibility (PRE).  What was this?

PRE gave some Registrants the eligibility to either register or reserve the shorter version of their .nz domain name before it became available to anyone else.  Depending on when they registered their .nz domain name – and if there are any other examples of their name in the .nz domain name space – these Registrants were classified as having either:

• Preferential Registration or Reservation (PRR), which made them eligible to register or reserve the shorter version of their domain name.  This needed to be done by 1pm, 30 March 2015.

• Conflicted status, which means their name has been registered in at least two second levels and so its registration at the second level needs to go through a conflict process.  An example of this is one Registrant having anyname.org.nz and another different Registrant having anyname.ac.nz.  There is an online tool at anyname.nz to handle conflicted .nz domain names. Please note that there is no deadline for completing the conflicted name process.

9. So who had PRE?

Two groups of Registrants were eligible for PRE.  The two groups were:

Group 1 – Registrants who registered a .nz domain name prior to 9am on 30 May, 2012, and who have kept it current. Depending on their situation, these Registrants were classified as either PRR or Conflicted.

Group 2 – Anyone who had a unique .nz domain name that was registered between 9am on 30 May 2012 and 3pm on 11 February 2014 (and who has kept it current).  An example of this would be of someone registering anyname.net.nz during this period with no other examples registered before or during this time frame (e.g. there is no anyname.co.nz, anyname.school.nz, anyname.org.nz or any other version).  These Registrants were only  classified as having PRR as there was no provision for Conflicted names in this group.

10.  I’ve forgotten when my .nz domain name was registered and who my Registrar is.  How can I find out this information?

On the Home Page of DNC’s website (www.dnc.org.nz) is a feature called the ‘SEARCH DOMAINS’ tool.  By typing a .nz domain name into this tool you can find more information about it, including when it was initially registered and who the Registrar is.

11.  How did I know if I was entitled to PRE?

If you were eligible you should have heard from your provider at least once about your options. Their notification to you will have gone to the registrant email address on record.

As well as working closely with .nz providers, the Domain Name Commission also widely communicated news of the change through advertising and media campaigns

12.  Was there a cut-off date for those with Preferential Registration or Reservation (PRR)?

Anyone eligible to register or reserve the shorter version of their .nz domain name before anyone else could do so must have exercised that right by 1pm, 30 March 2015. If Registrants did’t make a decision during this time – or they let their existing .nz domain name lapse – the shorter name became available for anybody to get – first come, first served 

13. If I was eligible for PRE – and chose to reserve my name - what happens after two years?

Registration of a reserved name should be done by 1pm, 30 March 2017.  If it is was not registered by this time, then the name will became available for others to register on a first-come, first served basis.

14.  What happens if I have a ‘Conflicted’ name?

If you have a Conflicted name, you can use the online system at anyname.dnc.org.nz to select one of the following preferences: 

• That you want to try and get your name registered directly at the second level.

• That you don’t want it and don’t think anyone else should have it.

• That you don’t want your name registered directly at the second level and don’t mind who has it.

• That you think it should become a second level domain like .co.nz, .org.nz or .school.nz. 

Please note that there is no deadline for completing the conflicted name process

On this online tool, Registrants with conflicted names can also see the contact details of those they are in conflict with.  This allows them to directly discuss with one another who should have it.  Should a clear outcome not result from either the online system or through individual discussions, DNC may offer a facilitation service.  

Note: If someone who is conflicted lets their domain name lapse, they will no longer be in the conflict process. 

15. If I registered anyname.co.nz, anyname.net.nz and anyname.org.nz before 9am on 30 May 2012, and there are no other variants of this name registered, wouldn’t that mean I’m conflicted with myself?

Yes, you are right.  In this scenario, if you wanted to register your domain name directly at the second level, there is an easy solution to this.  When at the online system at anyname.nz, you would simply select that you want one of your domain names to be registered directly at the second level.  Then, with your remaining conflicted .nz domain name(s), you would select that you don’t want it and you don’t mind who has it.  So long as you’re only in conflict with yourself, this will mean you will get it. 

16. Why did some Registrants have PRE and others didn’t?

In order to stop registration abuse, PRE is was necessary. An example of the kind of abuse we are preventing would be a business having anyname.co.nz and a competitor having heard about DNC’s proposal to allow .nz registrations directly at the second level and then registering anyname.net.nz.  If there were no cut-off dates for PRE, this would allow the second business to try and get anyname.nz - even though they had no earlier claim to it. 

17.  Where did the dates for PRE come from?

The two exact points in time are 9am on 30 May 2012 and 3 pm on 11 February 2014.  The first date is when DNC first announced its consultation to allow registrations directly at the second level.  The second date is when the final paper regarding the change’s implementation was released. By isolating PRE to these dates, we are preventing the type of registration abuse outlined in Question 16. 

18.  How can I check the registration details of my .nz domain name?

You can check the registration details of your .nz domain name by using the search tool on the Home Page of DNC’s website (www.dnc.org.nz).

19. I’ve a .nz domain name, who should I speak to in order to learn more?

If you have a domain name already you should speak to your Registrar.  There's also information published on the anyname.nz and DNC websites. 

20. What changes have been made to DNC’s Dispute Resolution Service (DRS)?

The key change to the DRS is that it now considers disputes over sub-domains where the domain name at the second level is a generic term.  An example of this would be anyname.shop.nz.

21. How was the decision to allow registrations directly at the second level made?

Following numerous public consultation rounds, analysis of opinion, and extensive discussion with interested parties, the DNC’s Board recommended to the InternetNZ Council that this change go forward.  This was agreed to on October 11, 2013. 

Background documents relating to all work on this change can be found at the following links:

• Consultation 1 - May 2012 (/second_level_proposal_c1)

• Consultation 2 - May 2013 (/second_level_proposal_c2)

• Consultation 3 - February 2014 (/second_level_proposal_c3)

• The paper DNC presented to InternetNZ Council in October 2013 can be seen at /content/second_level.pdf

• March 2014 - Final policies approved for .nz registrations at the second level /final-policies-nz-registrations-second-level?m=309