Opposition has been swift and almost universal to the Bankers Association’s attempt to have the .bank.nz domain name re-considered following the success of .maori.nz.
The Bankers Association first submitted the new second level domain (2LD) in October 2000 but it failed to gain enough support within InternetNZ ranks to proceed. In May the association re-submitted the proposal following the successful bid by the Maori Internet Society to have .maori.nz established. Now InternetNZ is calling for public discussion on the .bank.nz proposal but most comments are negative.
Industry stalwart Dylan Reeve says the overwhelming argument against it is that it would be a domain for 17 organisations.
“The arguments about it increasing consumer confidence in online banking seem fairly dubious," says Reeve, the first person to post to the official InternetNZ discussion list on the matter.
He says if .bank.nz goes ahead for so few organisations, there's really nothing to stop other 2LDs from swamping the market.
"If .bank.nz goes ahead, then .lawyer.nz, .gasstation.nz, .magazine.nz and who knows what else isn't far behind. While it may seem more intuitive at first, that will quickly change."
One contributor to the network operators group mailing list NZ NOG suggests that ISPs should block .bank.nz on their name servers.
“I'm game to do it," writes one, while another has a list of banks that should also be included: "Blood.bank.nz sperm.bank.nz piggy.bank.nz nigerian.bank.nz john.bank.nz".
Another wag on the list lampooned the .bank.nz proposal with his own version: .geek.nz.
"New Zealand is a country striving to become one of the technological elite. It does, however, suffer from a problem which sees some of its brightest people leaving its shores. Geeks do not feel that they are taken seriously in New Zealand, allowances should be made to accommodate them," says the "proposal" with its tongue firmly in its cheek.
Reeve says that might seem foolish at first, but he adds that there is probably more community interest in that domain than .bank.nz.
“I can certainly think of more than 17 people who would register .geek.nz domain names."
InternetNZ executive director Sue Leader says the robust debate is exactly what such proposals need.
"I've seen this before with .maori.nz and with .bank.nz first time round. There are many issues that need to be sorted out around new 2LDs so it's good to see."
Leader says that in future the new domain name commissioner will handle the process for 2LDs.