New 2LD proposal calls for submissions

First new second level domain proposed since revamped process introduced

A new second level domain, .parliament.nz, has been proposed to InternetNZ in order to provide some distance between parliamentarians and executive government.

However doubt is already being cast on whether the new 2LD is necessary.

John Preval, acting on behalf of the Parliamentary Services office, has proposed the new 2LD and InternetNZ is calling for submissions on whether to allow it to proceed or not.

The Domain Name Commissioner Debbie Monahan says this will be the first new 2LD proposal since the society introduced a new process to streamline applications.

"We're asking people to comment on the application itself and the moderation principles spelled out in the application." The 2LD is to be moderated and is intended to provide parliamentary agencies, such as the Parliamentary Service and possible the Office of the Clerk, with a separate online identity from MPs and other elected officials. Currently both make use of the .govt.nz 2LD.

However, the man who helped draft InternetNZ's 2LD policy, Steve Heath, suggests there may be no need for the new 2LD at all.

In his blog, Heath says the new 2LD appears to fail the "does not conflict with, duplicate or cause confusion about any existing 2LD" requirement.

"Most people would not understand the difference between it and .govt.nz" writes Heath.

InternetNZ's vice president, David Farrar, writes in support of the motion in his blog.

"One can argue that this can be done under the existing parliament.govt.nz domain, and yes it can. But parliament is not really part of government — in theory the government is accountable to parliament".

InternetNZ had called for a moratorium on new 2LD creation, following concern that the existing process took too long. The new process removes several steps, including a "straw poll" of members, and should enable proposed 2LDs to be either accepted or rejected far more quickly. The proposed parliament.nz could well be introduced at the June council meeting, if it gains approval.

The 2LD process had gone unused for several years, however a rash of proposed new 2LDs, including .maori.nz, .bank.nz and .geek.nz, led to the decision to re-vamp the process. The proposed .bank.nz 2LD failed twice to make the cut but both .maori.nz and .geek.nz are now active 2LDs, alongside the more traditional names like .co.nz, .ac.nz and .org.nz.

Submissions need to be in to InternetNZ by 5 May.

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