InternetNZ resignation over unchecked spending

In a fresh bout of infighting at InternetNZ, long-time member David Zanetti has resigned over the society's apparent willingness to 'tax' domain name holders.

In a fresh bout of infighting at InternetNZ, long-time member David Zanetti has resigned over the society's apparent willingness to "tax" domain name holders.

Zanetti says a debate over InternetNZ's new strategic plan and how the society will spend the money it earns from domain name registrations has been raging for some time.

"I remember it as the first real debate we had when the society began in 1996."

InternetNZ manages the .nz name space, setting the wholesale price of registering a domain name. As a non-profit organisation, Zanetti says the society should have been keeping a lid on wholesale prices but instead they've been growing steadily.

The former council member says $12 of the $24 domain name wholesale price is spent on "good deeds" and other InternetNZ related costs, a figure which has increased threefold since 1998, and which society members have not had a say on. Zanetti would like to see a cap on the amount of money InternetNZ can spend as a percentage of the domain name registration fee.

"The concern is that InternetNZ can basically do what it wants funded by this taxation of the name holders."

InternetNZ vice-president David Farrar says he's is sorry to see Zanetti go after long involvement with the society. Farrar also says the society is looking at addressing some of the issues Zanetti has raised.

"We're committed to being open and transparent in our spending."

Zanetti says the society is commissioning a survey to see whether name holders are willing to continue funding some of the "good deeds" InternetNZ has planned for the future. These include a "cyber law" fellowship at Victoria University [Cyber law fellowship mooted], which is expected to cost $85,000 a year for three years.

"I think most of the members would be happy to see such funding continue providing there is a cap and appropriate controls in place."

According to Zanetti, the society has chewed through about $2 million in recent times.

InternetNZ's strategic plan can be seen here.

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