.NZ Shows How to Consult Over Plans to Merge 3-into-One

The InternetNZ Council has released plans to merge the 3 bodies that manage different aspects of .NZ into one. The plans follow an organisational review of the InternetNZ group (InternetNZ, the Domain Name Commission and NZRS) initiated by the Council in late 2016.

The current structure was designed in 2002 and has not been reviewed since 2008. The scale and impact of the Internet on society over the past decade has been enormous and is evolving rapidly – making InternetNZ’s role as a voice for the local internet community even more important. The review sought to understand whether we are still best setup to deliver on our vision in this changing environment.

InternetNZ’s current organisational approach was developed from 2000 to 2002 to support responsibilities for running the .nz ccTLD. This saw the membership-based incorporated society setting up two focused centres of expertise and governance:

  • a domain name policy function, to develop and enforce the .nz policy framework, authorise registrars, represent .nz internationally, provide a Dispute Resolution Service and assure the service quality of the .nz offering (now DNCL)
  • a registry function, to develop and operate the Shared Registry System and the DNS infrastructure for .nz (NZRS).

InternetNZ is responsible for “the strategic direction and operationally deliver on the Objects of the Society.”

The consultation paper notes that the “evolution of the policy framework for .nz is largely complete, and no major policy issues are foreseen in the near future. DNCL has been considering how to best resource the current work programme which may result in a smaller organisation.”

The Council is now consulting on a proposed change to our organisational design which, if accepted, would see the three organisations merge to become one, governed by one Council. If the proposals are accepted, the size and composition of the Council will be reviewed in 2018 including whether to reduce the size and how to ensure the right skills are on board to support high quality governance.

If the proposed changes are accepted they would be implemented in 2 key phases:

  • The first phase would be to establish a new Chief Executive position for the proposed consolidated organisation, employed by InternetNZ and appointed by the Council
  • In the second phase, the person appointed to the proposed new Chief Executive position would be tasked with reviewing and proposing a structure for the organisation with little change below the Chief Executive level.

In this interim period, the current senior managers in InternetNZ, DNCL and NZRS would move to report to the new Chief Executive, with a small number of other minor changes to reporting lines in order to ensure the number of direct reports to the proposed new Chief Executive is manageable.

Employees, members and stakeholders are welcome to provide feedback on these proposals, with the consultation closing on 30 June.

The changes are in stark contrast to plans across the “ditch” for .au where auDA has announced they will be taking over running the registry, which has been run since 2002 by AusRegistry (now owned by Neustar) with the consultation to take place after the decision has been made.

The consultation paper is available to download here.