In a move that is likely to be welcomed by .nz registrants, New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission has announced that as of 30 September 2014 second level registrations will become available, meaning domains such as name.nz can be registered.
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 register domains under these sub-domains. The change simply means that from 13:00 on 30 September 2014 people will be able to get names with them, without them, or both.
The change follows the move by Nominet to allow second-level .uk names in June that saw 100,000 .uk registrations in less than four weeks. The decision 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 13:00, 30 September 2014 and end at 13:00, 30 March 2015.
From 13:00, 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 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.
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.