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.nz second-level names now available

Kevin Murphy, October 2, 2014, 11:04:00 (UTC), Domain Registries

The New Zealand Domain Name Commission has started making second-level domains under .nz available for the first time.

Like .uk, which opened up the second level this year, .nz names have previously only been available at the third level, under .co.nz, .net.nz and over a dozen other extensions.

But from this week, existing registrants will be able to register the shorter version of their name via their choice of registrar.

Registry fees are the same as under existing .nz SLDs, while a two-year reservation is free.

The priority period for existing registrants runs through March 30 next year. After that, .nz will open for first-come first-served general availability.

People who first registered their names between May 30 2012 and February 11 2014 — when the DNC was considering the second-level liberalization — get automatic rights to their names.

But for names registered before May 30 2012 there’s the possibility of conflicts — for example between the owners of matching .co.nz and .org.nz names.

In those cases, either party can either give up their rights, claim their rights, or demand that the .nz name not be registered to anyone.

It seems that while the DNC may offer a reconciliation service for conflicted registrants, any registrant of a 3LD registered before May 2012 will be able to dig their heels in and prevent the matching SLD being registered.

There were 551,024 domains across all .nz SLDs at the end of August.

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