Auckland service provider 2Day Internet has launched a petition to try and convince Isocnz and Domainz to provide a whois server for the .nz domain.
A whois server can be used by anyone, but is typically employed by DNS administrators at ISPs to look up registry information and check whether a given domain name is registered and to whom.
Similar functionality is offered by Domainz, but only via http on its Website, a solution 2Day managing director Peter Mott says is not "commercial strength".
"We can display the results of queries on our site at the moment, but Domainz only have to change one line of HTML on their Website and it breaks my script. So it's not very robust, and there are performance issues with doing it via http as well. My system sometimes time out getting answers and my customers wonder what's going on.
"All the other registries we do business with offer a whois server. But in New Zealand we rely on sending http message to the Domainz Website and then reading the Web pages it spits back."
Mott, whose relationship with Isoc and its Domainz registry business has sometimes been stormy, says he has made "repeated requests" for Domainz to install a whois server for two years. After failing to achieve a response, he launched the petition.
A number of ISPs, including Voyager, have indicated their willingness to sign the petition. Mott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org .