Lawyers with clients who have websites ending in “.nz” are in a position to advise them about upcoming major changes to the “.nz” domain name space.
From 1pm on 30 September, the second level domains you’re so used to seeing – like the “.co” in “.co.nz” and the “.org” in “.org.nz” – will become optional and people can register names with them, without them, or both. For example, if a business’s domain name is “anyname.co.nz”, it may also be able to get “anyname.nz”.
This is a big change. These new types of .nz name are shorter and simpler, and create an exciting new registration choice.
If your client doesn’t already have a “.nz” domain name, this is the perfect opportunity for you to explore with them the possibility of representing themselves online with “.nz”.
But, most importantly, if your client already has a website or email address that ends in “.nz” there are some very important things they need to know about.
Check the status of the name
First of all, your client (or you on their behalf, if you’ve got their permission) will need to visit the Domain Name Commission’s anyname.nz website or talk to their domain name provider to check the status of their existing “.nz” name.
This is because, depending on when your client originally registered their name, there are different options available.
Learn about your options
After you or your client has checked their status you may find they are eligible to register the shorter version of their “.nz” name before anyone else.
Or they may be able to reserve it for free for up to two years. If your client is eligible for either of these options they will be able to do so from 1pm on 30 September 2014.
Alternatively, you could find that your client’s “.nz” name is listed as “conflicted”. This means, for example, that they have got “anyname.co.nz” and others have got “anyname.org.nz” and “anyname.net.nz”.
If this is the case, your client will be able to have their say on who they would like to get the shorter version from 1pm on 30 September 2014.
The Domain Name Commission doesn’t want people to miss out on any of the options available to them. So, it is important that you or your client visit the anyname.nz website or talk to their domain name provider now to find out more.
If your client is not interested in this change, that’s fine. Their “.nz” name will continue to work as it always has and they will always be able to register and use names under existing endings like “.co.nz” and “.org.nz”.
For more information, contact the relevant domain name provider or visit the anyname.nz website.
Campbell Gardiner is the manager, communications for the Domain Name Commission Limited.