Registrations direct at the second level

Published at 11:52 15 May 2014

From 1pm, 30 September 2014, the .nz domain name space changed to allow registrations directly at the second level – meaning more choice in .nz domain names.

Existing second level domains – like the ‘.co’ in ‘’ and the ‘.org’ in ‘’ –became optional and people can now register with them, without them, or both.  

As an example, someone could get as well as You’ll note that in the second example the ‘.co’ portion of the domain name is missing.

Why the change?

Some of the benefits of this change include:

  • More choice in .nz domain names.
  • More representative online addresses. For example, many people get domain names even though they are not businesses.
  • Shorter .nz domain names.
  • Aligning New Zealand with many other countries and all gTLDs that have already made this change. 

Preferential eligibility

Most people with .nz domain names that were registered before 11 February 2014 were able to get the shorter version of their existing name before anyone else if they wanted to.

These applicable people had what was called Preferential Registration Eligibility (PRE).

PRE was a six month period of time (from 1pm, 30 September 2014 to 1pm, 30 March 2015) where those eligible could get the shorter version of their domain name before anyone else - or reserve it for free for a limited time.

The online status check tool on the website showed a person if they were eligible for PRE.

The DNC's WHOIS and domain search tool also gave information about a .nz domain name’s status directly at the second level.

The status types included: 

  • PRR (Preferential Registration or Reservation) - which means the Registrant of this .nz domain name was eligible to register or reserve the shorter version of their domain name during the PRE. Please note that PRR is no longer a status.
  • Conflicted – which means this .nz domain name has been registered in at least two second levels and so its registration at the second level needs to go through a conflicted process (there’s an online tool at to handle these types of .nz domain names). Please note that there is no deadline for completing the conflicted name process.
  • Resolved – which means the conflicted process for this .nz domain name has been successfully completed. 
  • Prohibited – which means, for reasons of confusion, that this domain name cannot be registered directly at the second level. These names include ‘gov’, ‘government’, ‘com’, ‘edu’, ‘nic’ and all macron variations of the current 15 2LDs. 
  • Available – which means this .nz domain name can be registered directly at the second level on a ‘first-come, first-served’ basis (so long as it conforms to existing policies). 
  • Reserved – which means the eligible holder of this .nz domain name has already reserved the name directly at the second level. 

FAQ - .nz registrations directly at the second level

Background documents

Three separate consultations were performed related to the registrations at the second level. 

Consultation 1 - May 2012 

Consultation 2 - May 2013  

Consultation 3 - February 2014  

The paper DNC presented to InternetNZ Council in October 2013 can be seen here.

March 2014 - Final policies approved for .nz registrations at the second level can be found here.