Domainz AGM a sedate affair

After the marathon Internet Society of New Zealand meeting last month, the annual meeting of Domainz this week was a very short and sedate affair.

After the marathon Internet Society of New Zealand meeting last month, the annual meeting of Domainz this week was a very short and sedate affair.

It was over in about an hour, and attracted only 30 attendees.

One of the few controversial points was the mention of CEO Patrick O’Brien’s exact status with the company.

He is a consultant engaged on contract, chairman Jim Higgins said at the meeting.

Members of Isocnz have been seeking clarification of this for some time.

O’Brien’s fees were not disclosed, being mixed in with a general budget for "personnel". This has now risen to $696,000, from a figure of $355,000 two years ago. Staff now number 10.

The other main criticism came from Steven Heath, the Isocnz council member appointed as shareholder spokesman (Isocnz being Domainz’s sole shareholder).

Heath questioned the rise in cost of Domainz's new computer systems to control the registration of domains and the administration of the .nz name space. This has risen from a projected $450,000 to $773,000 as at March 31.

O’Brien explained there had been additional costs from factors such as delay – which meant Waikato University had to keep running the functions of the system for a while, precontract negotiations and workshops and a $110,000 external audit, as well as budget items for personal ($75,000) legal ($40,000) and operational expenses.

Heath also questioned the absence of a cashflow statement and an apparently low interest rate of the company’s term deposits.

Asked afterwards if he was satisfied with replies from O’Brien and Higgins, he said “With my Isocnz hat on, yes, but personally, no” - particularly on the question of the expense of the computer system.

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