InternetNZ says its work over the past six months has saved thousands of .NZ domain names from failing today, 1 February, as a result of a global change to the domain name system that came into effect today in what has been named DNS Flag Day.
The changes were needed because non-compliant DNS implementations in the wider Internet were preventing deployment of new features.
InternetNZ CEO Jordan Carter said the organisation had been working for the past six months to identify which .nz domains would break.
"Back in July 2018, InternetNZ worked out that 8,349 .nz domain names were going to break on 1 February," he said. "Today the number of domains that will break has decreased to only 508."
He said domain names that would have failed included high profile government agencies and banks.
"The team at InternetNZ, led by chief scientist Sebastian Castro, has put in the hard yards on this change. Being able to significantly decrease the number of broken .nz domains is a huge success for many New Zealanders.
"InternetNZ and Domain Name Commission staff have been contacting registrars and DNS suppliers that could make changes to fix all of these affected domains. They were urged to look into the issues and make changes ahead of DNS Flag Day."
There is a DNS Flag Day website https://dnsflagday.net/ where any domain name can be checked to see if it is compliant with the changed DNS.
The site says the previous system was slow and inefficient because of the need to accommodate a few DNS systems that were not in compliance with DNS standards established two decades ago.
"This change will make most DNS operations slightly more efficient, and also allow operators to deploy new functionality, including new mechanisms to protect against DDoS attacks," it said.
.nz trusted & secure, but declining in popularity
Research published yesterday by InternetNZ, conducted by Colmar Brunton, found that businesses choose a .nz domain name to "reflect they are a NZ business and their pride in being a NZ business," and that "One in five businesses think consumers look for and trust a .nz domain name."
.nz was also "perceived as the most trustworthy and secure website address."
However Colmar Brunton also found businesses were using alternative domain names because they are cheaper than .nz, or reflect an international presence, and "Consideration to use the .nz version of their domain name in the future is declining over time."