InternetNZ’s approval of the new domain name .kiwi.nz has provoked an immediate reaction from Tim Johnson, CEO of Dot Kiwi Ltd, which has applied for the top-level domain .kiwi.
The possibility of both .kiwi and .kiwi.nz is confusing and “is not in the best interest of Kiwis, internet users or in fact the internet in New Zealand,” says Johnson.
However, Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan says the Domain Name Commission could not have ruled out .kiwi.nz on the basis of Dot Kiwi’s application to international authority ICANN for .kiwi.
The guidelines for assessing an application for a new second-level domain under .nz require DNC to consider potential confusion with existing second-level domains (2LDs), but there is no process for assessing a local 2LD against an international top-level domain.
Also, Monahan says, .kiwi does not exist yet, and the potential of confusion could not prejudge the question of Dot Kiwi’s application being granted – even though this seems likely, as it is the only applicant for .kiwi.
The creation of .kiwi.nz was first mooted by Donald Clark, former CEO of science network company REANNZ, in April. There was a public consultation round, when Dot Kiwi Ltd and other champions of .kiwi made their views known, says Monahan. “We discussed all aspects of the question and DNC recommended to InternetNZ Council that the domain be created.” Council approved the application at its regular meeting, on August 17.
Under current DNC policy, a new second level domain can be created if it represents “an identifiable, significant, 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.”
In addition, a candidate second-level domain name should be “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.” and should not bring the .nz domain-name space into disrepute.”
InternetNZ President Frank March says “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. We congratulate the Domain Name Commission for undertaking an open and transparent consultation process with the community.”