Domainz will protect local companies who have registered .nz domain names through the now seemingly defunct Internet Name Group (ING), but there is little it can do about .com and .net registrations.
ING (also trading as Internet Name Protection), the Australian domain name registry company criticised by both Domainz and the Commerce Commission earlier this year appears to have ceased trading. It has closed its website and its phone numbers are disconnected.
Domainz CEO Derek Locke says he's most concerned for any New Zealand company that registered a .com or .net name through ING.
"All the .nz names are protected and will be fine but I just don't know what will happen to those .com or .net or what have you. That's really up in the air."
Locke says Domainz will ensure that any .nz name will continue to stay active for the remainder of any contract signed with ING.
"We'll try to make sure .nz customers are looked after and their websites keep going if it's at all possible."
Locke says name holders who are concerned about the future of their registration should get in touch with Domainz or arrange to be handled in future by a different registrar.
He says because Domainz doesn't allow for 10-year pre-registrations there shouldn’t be the sorts of problems the Australians are facing where companies have paid ING years in advance and the money has yet to be paid to the registry controller.
Issues with ING first came to light in August last year after it sent a letter to 35,000 domain name holders in New Zealand promoting a "pre-registration" service for the new .biz and info domain names at $250 per domain name.
Domainz revoked ING's registration status for breaching the terms and conditions by sending letters to 35,000 name holders, but ING continued to operate by using a third party registrar's automated sign-up facility.
The company was also in trouble at home with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for similar business tactics and eventually wound up in court.
According to a report in Melbourne’s The Age the ING offices are empty and "company directors were not answering calls on their private numbers".
IDGNet was unable to contact ING.