Protect your domain name in New Zealand

Domain names available in ,nz

It must be 23-years since New Zealand companies scrambled to register their name or product against a domain name. It’s time to scramble again because you can now drop the .org.nz, .co.nz and .net.nz and just have plain old .nz Hang on to the originals because they’re still perfectly usable but make sure your competitor doesn’t get the new version.

From 30 September, something like bob.co.nz can be registered as bob.nz What’s more, someone other than Bob may be able to contest its ownership and grab it for themselves.

Your domain name too will have this additional .nz availability. You need to lay claim to it if you want to use it.

For example, if you have the .org.nz, .net.nz and .co.nz all registered under your name, you are probably fine to register the .nz version without competition. However, if you have the .org.nz while someone else has the .co.nz and a third registrant has the .net.nz, then you should waste no time in registering your interest in securing the .nz variant.

Disputed ownership of these new domains is called ‘conflicted’. If there is no one else claiming it, your status is called PRR – Preferred Registration or Reservation.

Laying claim to the new name

To secure rights to the new variant of your existing domain name, go to www.anyname.co.nz

Enter your domain name (without the .co.nz bit) and see whether someone else claims it too, in which case rights to the domain are ‘conflicted’. If the result shows your status as “PRR”, you’re in the clear and you’ll have until 30 March next year to register it. When that’s done, the name is yours. If you just want to register your interest, without paying anything, you can squat on the domain name for 2-years while you think about it and no one else can grab it until that 2-years is up.

In the case of a conflict, your options, from 30 September when the rush begins are:

  • request rights to the .nz name (your competitors may dispute your rights)
  • request that no one gets it
  • renounce any claims on it (your competitors are free to lay claim to it)

The Domain Name Commission will decide each claim on its merits. Take that bit seriously as, in the event there’s still argument over rights, the Domain Name Commission may withdraw the name and no one will get it or decide which claimant is the winner and hand it over. That may not be you.

There’s a fourth option: You can ask that the name becomes its own second level. That means, in the case of bloomers.nz, that others will be able to register my-sexy.bloomers.nz, or pink.bloomers.nz and so on. That won’t be a common path to take unless it’s a very expressive and popular name.

Many countries have had this country code in for years, without the requirement for a .org or .co (or .com) before their country letters.

The change should add many more opportunities for New Zealand companies to get meaningful names while protecting those already using the domain to extend it to the .nz variant.

I’m sure the prospect of millions of dollars of extra domain name fees pouring in never occurred to them.

Need help to search for your name and register your interest? info@netco.co.nz