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.nz Nameholder Relationship Policy



The purpose of this policy is to clarify the Internet Society of New Zealand's position with regard to the relationship between nameholders and the Domain Name System as it is managed in the .nz namespace.


This policy has been prepared to dispel some of the misaprehensions that have appeared with regard to the nameholder relationship with the register. It is appropriate to consider that there is a policy issue around this relationship as it is fundamental to the operation of the register.


this is a draft document as at 17/03/00 for discussion purposes. This is not an official policy of the Society.


Nameholder entity that is licensed to hold a domain name within the DNS
Register the database of all domain names within a TLD and the nameholder details for each
Registry the entity that maintains the register
Registrar an entity that has CRUD access to the register in order to maintain nameholder details
Agent an entity that has CRUD access to the register in order to maintain nameholder details
DNS the technical Domain Name System that sources its information from the relevant registry, e.g. the .nz DNS uses the .nz registry
Delegate entity that has the delegated authority to manage a section of the DNS
TLD Top Level Domain (either generic [gTLD] or based on country code [ccTLD])


  1. The primary entity responsible for the DNS is ICANN, through the IANA office. IANA is responsible for delegating all top-level domains to suitable managers to run.
  2. TLD managers delegate lower levels of the DNS to other entities. This maybe directly at the second level or, in cases where a second level hierarchy exists, at the third level. For the purposes of this document, because the .nz namespace has such a hierarchy, the 3LD delegate will be referred to as the nameholder.
  3. The nameholder determines a name and registers their wish to hold that name as a unique entity within the global DNS structure. A licence is granted to the nameholder if their registration is unique and if they meet any criteria for moderation that may exist on the domain level.
  4. There is no transferral of property rights from any entity to any other. As the DNS is an addressing system, no property is involved. The only property pertaining to the actual DNS is that of the nameholder information (see below). There may, however, be intellectual property rights involved in some supporting systems.
  5. The register is the prime repository of information for nameholders, as per RFC 1591 and others. The Registry is the organisation that maintains the register. The Registry may charge a fee to cover the costs of maintaining the register.
  6. A registrar or agent is a commercial entity that offers services to a potential nameholder which include registration of a name within the namespace.
  7. The nameholder must retain portability of their licence, i.e. the data pertaining to a DNS entry belongs to the nameholder and that entity must be able to choose the registrar or agent they wish to use in the maintenance of their DNS entry. This may include dealing directly with the Registry.
  8. The DNS must not be operated in such a way that a nameholder is locked into any registrar or commercial entity.
  9. There is one function for the register - to hold the details of nameholders for the technical operation of the DNS as an addressing system.
  10. There are two chains of relationship that may occur between the Registry and the nameholder:
    1. the nameholder may choose to interface directly with the Registry (a dis-intermediated relationship) as in the 5% who currently maintain their own details, and
    2. the nameholder may use a registrar or agent to manage their details for them on the register (a mediated relationship).
  11. There is no implicit customer/supplier relationship between the Registry and the nameholder. In the case of adis-intermediated relationship, the nameholder is indeed the customer of the Registry. In the case of a mediated relationship, the nameholder is the customer of the registrar or agent of their choice. In the case of a mediated relationship, a registrar is the customer of the Registry.
  12. Registrars must have direct unmediated access to the portions of the register that have regard to their customers. A registrar will not have change access to nameholder details which are not for their customers.
  13. Where an issue arises which requires nameholder awareness, the Registry will only go through the appropriate contact point. In the case of a mediated relationship, this is through the Registrar appointed by the nameholder to manage their details.
  14. The Registry will charge the licensing fees to the registrar where one is used and to the nameholder directly only in a dis-intermediated relationship.
  15. Registrars will make nameholders aware of the nature of the relationships around a DNS registration. Specifically, registrars will make nameholders aware of their rights and responsibilities in managing a 3LD and of the process to follow if they wish to move their delegation from one registrar to another. It is the nameholder who has the delegation, not the registrar.

© 2000 The Internet Society of New Zealand
Last updated 14 April 2000

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