InternetNZ collects $7.15 million in registry fees

Organisation publishes accounts ahead of AGM in Wellington on Thursday

InternetNZ collected revenue of $7.22 million in the last financial year, of which $7.15 million was fees from .nz registrations and the remainder from income such as bank interest and membership fees.

According to accounts on its website which have been prepared for InternetNZ’s Annual General Meeting on Thursday in Wellington, for the year ended 31 March 2011 the organisation recorded a net surplus of $1.11 million, which increased the Group’s retained earnings from $7.75 million to $8.86 million. The Group consists of InternetNZ and its subsidiaries the New Zealand Registry Service (NZRS) and the Domain Name Commission.

InternetNZ CEO Vikram Kumar says InternetNZ holds $4.64 million, which represents liquidity reserves, working capital and reserves. “Reserves are used to even out dividend from NZRS to InternetNZ (which in turn depends upon .nz income that is subject to market forces including competition) as well as future capital investments of the Group (InternetNZ and its subsidiaries),” Kumar explained in an email to Computerworld.

“Also from the reserves, InternetNZ has supported special efforts such as that for the Christchurch earthquakes donation ($50,000)," he says.

According to InternetNZ Group accounts, major expenses in the last financial year were Registry Services at $1.59 million and the Domain Name Commission at $563,926.

Society expenses were $1.06 million, over half ($551,000) consisting of general expenses such as accountancy, printing and stationery, legal fees, consultants, recruitment, videoconference etc. It did not include employee remuneration, depreciation and rent which are charged under other headings.

The remaining $514,000 under Society expenses was for community investment, which is used to support InternetNZ’s “strategic partners” (that is, grants to other organisations), says Kumar. “This amount represents just under 20 percent of InternetNZ’s total operational expenditure of $2.642 million in 2010/11.”

Other major expenses listed in the InternetNZ Group accounts are Public Policy expenses at $492,828 – this was for contractors, consultants, legal fees, general expenses, travel, conferences, website et cetera.

Then there was Technical Leadership at $258,500 for external professional services for policy projects and submissions.

Employee Remuneration is listed at $1,864,211, of which around $783,000 pays the salaries of eight employees for InternetNZ and the remainder is for staff at the NZRS and the Domain Name Commission.

An interest-free loan of $200,000 in 2008/09 to Hector's World has been been written off, although Frank March says the organisation will "continue to work with Hector's World to look at options in relation to the loan."

InternetNZ is a registered charity with 282 members as at 17 March 2011. There are 12 councillors on the InternetNZ board including president Frank March, who is a senior specialist advisor at the Ministry of Economic Development and vice president Jamie Baddeley who is general manager for sales at FX Networks.

In the annual report, Kumar cites among the activities carried out by the organisation as challenging the government over its broadband initiatives (in particular the regulatory holiday for the Ultra Fast Broadband initiative), supporting the IPv6 Task Force, policy work in regards to ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) and Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Copyright (Infringing File Shareing)Amendment Act, and supporting partnerships, surveys and events.

In his president's report Frank March describes the year as a “banner year” for InternetNZ. “The past 12 months have been highly successful for InternetNZ. We have continued to develop our public profile and have made numerous significant contributions to ongoing public policy debates and formal submissions to the legislative process. In terms of influencing policy outcomes, it has been a banner year for the organisation.”

At the AGM on Thursday members will appoint four councillors from the following list of six candidates - Dave Mill, Dave Moskovitz, Donald Clark, Michael Wallmannsberger, Nat Torkington, and Richard Orzecki.

Current councillors (who's term is not up for election this year) are Don Christie, Michael Foley, Neil James, Hamish MacEwan, Jonny Martin and Lance Wiggs

Comments

Anonymous

1

Back in the day the Internet Society was set up to run the domain name system on a not-for-profit basis for the benefit of those holding domain names. I remember - I helped set it up.

Jump forward to today and we find that they're now apparently overcharging for this "not-for-profit" service by around $5M over and above what it costs to run the registry (and associated commission) and spending this on unrelated advocacy and pet projects.

That's not very charitable.

Nor is spending three quarters of a million on advocacy, according to your article, and even more than the same again on staff that have nothing to do with running the domain name system.

All of that probably helped them achieve their objectives, all being lobbying it would seem. If I remember correctly another organisation lost their charitable status because charities aren't allowed to do such things didn't they?

No wonder .nz domains cost so much more than .com domains when they charge more than 3.5x what it costs for this so called "not for profit charitable service".

If they're determined to keep skimming millions off the top why doesn't that go into some sort of transparent independently operated fund to support those doing good things in the space? I guess they're just not that into wrestling the millions off the privileged few who prefer to keep it in their little circle.

My how far we've come.

Vikram Kumar

2

Well done to you and others like you who had the foresight to set up InternetNZ as an independent, not-for-profit organisation.

The organisation was set up to protect and promote the interests of the NZ Internet community and running .nz is one of those important areas but not the exclusive one. The role of the "designated manager" of a country domain such as .nz is specified in RFC 1591 and includes this notion of being a trustee for the national community.

As a membership organisation, it is ultimately the members who decide what the organisation does. I hope you have continued your membership and will engage in discussion with your fellow members on that.

The objects of the organisation reflect those membership decisions and are charitable in accordance with the law.

Comparing .com and .nz prices needs to take into account scale economies. There about 96 million .com domains and 0.45 million .nz domains.

Wholesale prices of .nz domain names have been reducing- last reduction was about a year back from $1.50 to $1.25 per month, a reduction of about 17%.

Vikram Kumar
CE, InternetNZ

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