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August 27, 2012

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

New Zealand Set to Launch New Domain Extension, Taking Just 4 Months From Application To Approval in a Speedy Process New gTLD Applicants Can Only Envy

While the debate over new gTLDs continues, one nation is taking advantage of the autonomy individual nations have in running their own country code domains to introduce a new extension now. That freedom allowed the organization that administers New Zealand's .NZ ccTLD (The Domain Name Commission Ltd., a subsidiary of InternetNZ) to launch a second level domain, .kiwi.nz, that will start accepting registrations September 11, 2012. The new extension still has to get over one low hurdle to get the final go ahead - at least 500 .kiwi.nz registrations have to be sold before it will can go live.

Second level extensions like this are common in the ccTLD world with some, like Great Britain's .co,.uk and Australia's .com.au among the most popular and recognizable country code extensions on the web. New Zealand had already taken advantage of opportunities to sub-divide with extensions like .co.nz

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The decision to introduce kiwi.nz provides some interesting insight into how and why a new extension like this comes into being. New Zealand Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan said a new second level domain can be created if the proposed extension meets the following criteriia:

  • Represents an identifiable, significant community of interest. 

  • Represents an on-going and long-lived community of interest. 

  • Does not conflict with, duplicate or cause confusion about, any existing second-level domain and is a useful addition to the current DNS (Doman Name System) hierarchy. 

  • Uses a name to represent the domain that is an obvious derivative of a word that properly describes the community of interest, e.g. .org.nz for organisation, or a complete word, e.g. .maori.nz.

  • Does not bring the .nz domain name space into disrepute.

InternetNZ President Frank March said, “The .kiwi.nz application clearly met these requirements and should be an option for .nz registrants.  The InternetNZ Council agreed that it met all the policy requirements and so approved it." March added, "the policy for evaluating a new second-level domain takes into account existing second-level domains in .nz but not possible future 

Image from Bigstock

changes, such as direct registration under .nz (which is currently being consulted on) or new generic Top Level Domains that may or may not be introduced at some point in the future.”

That indifference toward new gTLDs left a group that applied to run a new .kiwi gTLD more than a little irritated as Kevin Murphy detailed in an article at DomainIncite.com today. They also had to be envious of the fast track New Zealand's country code system afforded .kiwi.nz. It took just four months from the time .kiwi.nz was 

proposed to the time it was approved. By contrast the group seeking a .kiwi gTLD will end up having waited years to see their domain go live in ICANN's new gTLD system and that is assuming their application is approved. 

(Posted August 24, 2012) 

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