An online public straw poll on whether to create the proposed new .bank.nz domain name begins on Monday.
The vote represents the third stage in the process of creating a new second-level domain name which began in late October last year when the New Zealand Bankers' Association contacted the Internet Society of New Zealand (Isocnz) with the proposal.
Society chair Peter Dengate Thrush says stage two of its "extensive consultation process", a public notification and preliminary discussion procedure, has been completed "and [we] are now moving to stage three, which involves a preliminary vote to see if the proposal has enough support to pass the threshold test."
"The society has a clear process to follow which ensures that all proposals are treated in the same even-handed manner. The society originated to ensure that the internet in New Zealand remained 'open, uncapturable, and accessible' to all New Zealanders," he says. "That is one reason the process to create new second level domain names is measured and thorough, and this takes time".
The process is grounded in policy set by the founders of the society in May 1997 to assume management of the .nz namespace after its original custodian, the Information Services department of Waikato University, bowed out of what had becoming an increasingly commercial task.
"The Society received a lot of calls after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced the expansion of the global top level domain (gTLD) namespace at Los Angeles in November last year. New Zealanders' wanted to know if we would immediately add the same new Second Level Domain Names in New Zealand." Dengate Thrush says.
The interested were directed to the Society's website so that they could decide if they wished to take the matter further through the existing process.
"The New Zealand Bankers' Association consulted their membership and submitted a proposal. We are now working through the process. In addition we are aware of one definite and one possible application in the pipeline."
All members of the New Zealand internet community are eligible to vote in the poll, which will begin at 9am on March 12 and finish at midnight on March 26. The only qualification will be the possession of a .nz email address. Further information is available at http://www.isocnz.org.nz/consult/2LD/