Policy ushers in new era of choice in .nz domain names

Published on 21 Jul 2014

Media release – 21 July 2014

The Domain Name Commission Limited (DNCL) is pleased to announce that from 1pm, 30 September 2014 a significantly amended .nz policy will come into effect – ushering in a new era of choice in .nz domain names. 

From that date, people will be able to register shorter, simpler, more representative names immediately before the .nz – as well as the more familiar-looking options like ‘.co.nz’ and ‘.org.nz’. 

All existing options like .co.nz, .org.nz and .govt.nz will continue to work as they always have and people will still be able to get names with them. The change simply means that from 1pm, 30 September 2014 people will be able to get names with them, without them, or both.

For example, someone could get anyname.nz as well as anyname.co.nz.

Registering a name in this way is called ‘registering directly at the second level’. The decision to allow registrations directly at the second level was made last year by the InternetNZ Council and followed a number of public consultation rounds.
Importantly, many .nz domain name holders may be able to get the shorter version of their name if they want it and could take advantage of a six-month period of time – called the Preferential Registration Eligibility (PRE) period to register or reserve the shorter version.

The Preferential Registration Eligibility (PRE) period will begin at 1pm, 30 September 2014 and end at 1pm, 30 March 2015.

From 1pm, 30 September 2014 existing holders of .nz domain names will have different options open to them, depending on when they originally registered their name. They may, for example, be able to get the shorter version of their name before anyone else, reserve it for free for two years or manage conflicted name issues.

Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan says the preferential eligibility options could be confusing for holders of .nz domain names. That’s why the Domain Name Commission will be working closely with the .nz Registrar community over the next few months to help them communicate the change with holders of .nz names – letting people know exactly where their name fits into the picture.

A Registrar is a company or organisation that people register domain names through.

A website at anyname.nz has been created by the Domain Name Commission for holders of .nz domain names to check out their options and learn more about what the change might mean for them. Anyname.nz also shows what the shorter .nz domain names will look like in a web browser from 1pm, 30 September 2014.

Monahan describes the policy change allowing registrations directly at the second level as a boon for choice – one that opens up an exciting new .nz registration possibility. She encourages all those with an existing .nz domain name to visit anyname.nz or contact their Registrar to check their options and learn more about what’s happening.

“The change keeps all the advantages of the current system while expanding choice. Other countries have already made a similar change and now New Zealand is too.”

Holders of .nz domain names wanting to find out more about this exciting, watershed change to the .nz domain name space should contact their Registrar or domain name provider or visit anyname.nz.

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Frequently asked questions*

* A comprehensive list of FAQs is available on the anyname.nz website.

What does this change mean?
This change means that from 1pm, 30 September 2014 people will 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 going to become optional.

This means you could register with them, without them, or both. As an example, you could get ‘anyname.co.nz’ as well as ‘anyname.nz’. Registering one of these new, shorter .nz domain names is called ‘registering directly at the second level’.

When is the go-live date for this change?
The go-live date for the change is 1pm, 30 September 2014. From that date, people will be able to register or reserve the new shorter .nz domain names.

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

Nothing will happen 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 be entitled to Preferential Registration Eligibility (PRE). This means you might be able to register or reserve the shorter version of your name before anyone else.

What will happen to existing second level domains like ‘.co.nz’, ‘.govt.nz’ and ‘.net.nz’?
There will be 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, just remember to continue paying your registration fee.