Kiwis urged to speak up on consultation process that could significantly change New Zealand’s Internet structure

Published on 13 Jun 2013

People who have a .nz website or e-mail address should learn about a proposal to change New Zealand’s Domain Name System (DNS).

The Domain Name Commission Limited’s (DNCL) proposal, which is now in its second round of public consultation, puts forward the idea of opening domain name registrations directly at the second level.

Should the proposal go forward, this means that people who want to register, say, anyname.co.nz might one day be able to simply register anyname.nz. You will note that the ‘.co’ portion is no longer included.

For the general public, this would mean that second level domains like .ac, .co, .geek, .gen, .kiwi, .māori, .net, .org and .school would no longer be required, though people could still opt for them if they wanted to.

DNCL Chair Joy Liddicoat says that there are both potential benefits and potential issues to consider.

“I understand that allowing registrations directly at the second level could cause confusion in the short-term, but also believe it could improve the .nz domain name space in the long-term,” she says.

“For one thing .nz domain names, especially for personal use, do not always easily fit into one category. DNCL is concerned that people are being forced to choose a second level domain when there is no technical reason for this.

“If the proposal went ahead, an advantage is that it would offer more choice to consumers.

“On the other hand, one potential issue we have considered is that people might feel as if they need to register their domain names at both second and third levels, for example getting both anyname.co.nz and anyname.nz.”

DNCL polls suggest that New Zealanders increasingly support this change. For example, in 2003 only 25% of New Zealanders showed a preference for being able to register domain names directly at the second level. However, in a 2011 survey, 59% of registrants said they did.

DNCL encourages New Zealanders to consider these issues carefully and to tell us their opinion through the submission process. The greater range of quality opinions DNCL receives, the better.

Full details of the consultation document and background material are available at /second_level_proposal_c2. Online submissions can be made at https://www.research.net/s/dnc_consultation2.

The cut-off date for submissions is midday Wednesday 31 July, 2013.

For further information please contact Communications Advisor Patrick Watson by phoning 027 686 9921 or e-mailing ca@dnc.org.nz.