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History of the Internet in New Zealand

A brief history of the Internet in New Zealand.

For a comprehensive history of the New Zealand Internet, go to

This is a wiki, reproducing in full the contents of Connecting the Clouds - A History of the New Zealand Internet, by author Keith Newman.


Victoria University of Wellington introduced dial-up access to the international USENET (User's Network) - a collection of bulletin boards and discussion groups residing on the Internet.


New Zealand's first link to the Internet was established. This was a link from the University of Waikato to the University of Hawaii.

At this time, New Zealand universities established a loose alliance to establish national Internet infrastructure for education and research. This became known as TUIA Net.

New Zealand's first commercial ISP,  Actrix, was also established in 1989.


TUIA Net became the TUIA Society. Members included the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) and other government research groups.


In response to increasing commercialisation of the Internet, the TUIA Society held a public meeting in November 1994 to establish a new public body to manage Internet infrastructure development.


In November 1995, the Internet Society of New Zealand (now InternetNZ) was formed.

The management of the .nz name space was transferred to ISOCNZ.

At this time, there were approximately 2000 domain names in the .nz register.

Also at this time, the first flutters of e-commerce were seen with the establishment of


ISOCNZ established a subsidiary company The New Zealand Internet Registry Ltd (trading as Domainz) to run the domain name register.

Also in 1996, Telecom entered into the Internet Services Provision and claimed 40,000 users within months.


ISOCNZ started the process to change the New Zealand Internet Registry into a Shared Registry System (SRS) to create more competition.

Also in 2000, a proposal to expand the .nz namespace by adding a new 2nd Level Domain (2LD) failed to gain support.


ISOCNZ re-branded to InternetNZ. At this time there were over 100,000 domain names in the .nz register.

A process was also started to add to the .nz namespace.

2002 was approved and the SRS went live. .nz Registry Services was created and the Office of Domain Name Commissioner was established.


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