The new .nz domain – What you need to know.

We all are familiar with second level domains like .co.nz, .net.nz, .org.nz, .govt.nz, etc. But here’s what’s happening. From 1pm, September 30, these second level domains will become optional. From then you’ll be able to register .nz domain names with them, without them, or both. This means that from September 30 you’ll start seeing shorter .nz names like companyname.nz.

 Already have a .co.nz domain name?

If you’ve already got a domain name in the second level (.co.nz, .kiwi.nz, net.nz etc) and are keen on getting the shorter .nz version you need to check the status of your domain name. You may have ‘Preferential Registration Eligibility’. This means you could register or reserve the shorter version of your domain name before it becomes available to anyone else.

 What does your domain status mean?

There are 4 possible statuses: available, PRR, conflict or prohibited.

 Available

If the shorter .nz name you want has an ‘available’ status, the registration process will be first-come, first-served from 1pm, 30 September 2014. This means if you’re first to register, you’ll get the name.

 PRR (Preferential Registration or Reservation)

If the shorter .nz name you want has a ‘PRR’ status it means that you have preferential rights in the name and are able to register the name before anyone else.

You’ve got until 1pm, 30 March 2015 to do this. Otherwise, the shorter version of the domain name will become available for general registration.

Conflicted

If the shorter .nz name you want has a ‘Conflicted’ status it means that the domain name has been registered in at least two second levels – e.g. you hold companyname.co.nz and someone else holds companyname.net.nz.

To get the shorter version you’ll need to go through the so called ‘conflict’ process in which you’ll be able to have your say on who might get the shorter version.

From 1pm on 30 September 2014 – you’ll need to lodge on the anyname.nz website whether you:

  • want to try and get the shorter version of the domain name
  • don’t think anyone should get it
  • don’t want it and don’t care who gets it
  • don’t think anyone should get it and think it should become its own second level like .co.nz, .org.nz or .school.nz.

From the anyname.nz website you can find the contact details of those you are in conflict with. This allows you to directly discuss with one another about who might get the shorter .nz domain name.

If a clear outcome doesn’t result from either the online system or through direct discussions, the Domain Name Commission may offer a facilitation service.

After that, if there’s still no agreement on who’ll get the domain name, it will be unavailable for registration.

Prohibited

No-one is able to register the shorter version of the name. These include names like ‘gov’, ‘government’, ‘com’, ‘edu’, etc. to prevent confusion.

Reservation

If your .nz domain name has ‘PRR’ status you’re able to reserve the shorter version of your name, for free for up to two years. Reserving your name will give you two years to decide whether you want to register the shorter version, without anyone else being able to register it in that time.

Key eligibility dates

If your existing domain name has a Preferential Registration (PRR) status is depending on when you’ve registered it and if there are any other instances of the domain name in the .nz domain name space.

If you registered your existing domain name before 9am on 30 May 2012:

  • You’ll have PRR (Preferential Registration or Reservation) status if it’s the only instance of the domain name.
  • You’ll have Conflict status if there are multiple instances of the domain name e.g. .co.nz, .net.nz, etc. versions.

If you registered your existing name between 9am on 30 May 2012 and 3pm, 11 February 2014:

  • You’ll have PRR (Preferential Registration or Reservation) status if it’s the only instance of the domain name.
  • If there are multiple instances of the domain name – e.g. .co.nz, .net.nz, etc. versions – the shorter version of the domain name will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from 1pm, 30 September 2014.

If you registered your existing name after 3pm, 11 February 2014:

  • The shorter version of the domain name will be available on a first-come, first-served basis from 1pm, 30 September 2014.

What will happen to existing second level domains?

Nothing will happen to existing domain name(s) and you can continue to use it as you always have, and you’ll still be able to register new domain names in second level categories like .co.nz and .org.nz. The new .nz extension is simply an additional choice in domain names.

More information

Have a good read through the anyname.nz website; especially the FAQ section has lots of information.

Some further food for thought

Should you register the shorter .nz domain name?

Yes, we definitely think you should (if you can). Make sure you read our blog post: Domain names and how to protect your company/brand.

You can easily redirect the new .nz domain name to your existing domain. But if you want to start using the new .nz domain instead of your existing domain there are a few (technical) things to keep in mind:

  • If you want your existing website to resolve to the new .nz domain name you need to handle it (with care) as any other domain name change. This means setting up the proper 301 redirects. Without redirects, all the links to your website and content will be lost, and your website traffic and online authority (search engine rankings)  will suffer.
  • Existing links from other websites to yours needs to be updated to the new domain. This might mean contacting the website owners. Probably be impossible to do for every link but make sure you’ll do it for the most important links.
  • Think of all other places your old domain name is listed, i.e. your social media websites, online and offline ads, directories, etc., and make sure you update accordingly.
  • New email addresses create/install.
  • Updating your signage, brochures, business cards etc.
  • Market Your New Domain Name: Make sure people know about your domain name change!

Any questions?

As always feel free to drop any questions as a comment below and we’re happy to answer them.

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