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ISCONZ Vote for New Second Level Domain

6 March 2001 In an exciting development for the Internet in New Zealand, the Internet Society of New Zealand is moving into Stage Three of a public consultation process to determine whether to create a new Second Level Domain Name for the ".nz" namespace.

The proposal for the creation of a new Second Level Domain Name
called "" was received from the New Zealand Bankers'
Association in late October last year. "The Society undertakes an
extensive consultation process when we receive a proposal for a new
Second Level Domain Name" said Society Chair Peter Dengate Thrush. "We
have completed Stage Two for "", a public notification and
preliminary discussion procedure, and are now moving to Stage Three
which involves a preliminary vote (a 'straw poll') to see if the
proposal has enough support to pass the threshold test." .  The
public 'straw poll' will begin at 9:00AM on March 12 and finish at
midnight on March 26.

"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 continued.
"That is one reason the process to create new Second Level Domain Names
is measured and thorough, and this takes time".
The process to create new Second Level Domain Names is grounded in
Policy set by the founders of the Society in May 1997 after the
original ten ".nz" domain names were confirmed. The creation of that
Policy itself resulted from an extensive consultation process as the
Society wished to ensure that the New Zealand Namespace was both stable
and also able to be expanded if real need was demonstrated.
"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
said. As the Society already had an existing process in place the
simple answer was 'no', and inquirers 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."
"The Society looks forward to a strong turnout at the first poll
which starts on March 12. All members of the New Zealand Internet
community - whether Internet businesses, end users, the government or
the academic community are eligible to vote. The only qualification
will be the possession of a ".nz" email address," he concluded.
For further information please visit the Society's website at:
Background paper attached.
Phone Sue Leader, Executive Director, ISOCNZ 04-801-6256
Steven Heath, proposal, ISOCNZ, 021-706-067
Caroline Kidd, NZ Bankers Association 04-498-2724
The Internet Society of New Zealand is the delegated manager of New
Zealand's Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) - ".nz". This
delegation means that the Society sets the Policy for the management
and development of the ".nz" Namespace. Crucial to that Policy
development is ensuring the rights of all New Zealanders to fair access
to the Internet in New Zealand are maintained. The Society's approach
is enshrined in its 'Aims and Objectives', which can be summed up as
ensuring an 'open, uncapturable and accessible Internet for all New
Zealanders'. (see Articles of Association
The creators of the Internet never intended that the Domain Name
System (DNS) or 'Namespace' was to be a 'directory structure', that is,
it was not the computer equivalent of the Yellow Pages. Rather,
it was a clever design feature that allowed humans to interface with a
rapidly expanding computer network using 'English' instead of strings
of numbers. Some people still hold to that view and do not wish the
namespace to be expanded further. Others, recognising that the Internet
has expanded beyond anyone's wildest imaginings and is used every day
by people with little or no technical knowledge, accept that the
Namespace is now used as if it were a directory structure and therefore
some accommodation must be made.
At the same time, expansion which is not carefully controlled can
create, rather than reduce, confusion for Internet users.  For
instance, there are relatively clear 'boundaries' between 'communities
of interest' in the ".nz" Namespace. The Society provides guidelines
about these communities, though these are only enforced in the
moderated Second Level Domains. The current Second Level Domain's are:

Second level domain

Community of Interest



Tertiary educational institutions and related organisations



Organisations pursuing commercial aims and purposes



Crown Research Institutes



Individuals and other organisations not covered elsewhere



National, regional and local government organisations operating with statutory powers



A traditional Maori tribe, mandated by the local Iwi Authority



Military organisations of the NZ Government



Organisations and service providers directly related to the NZ Internet



Not-for-profit organisations



Primary, secondary and pre-schools and related organisations


At the moment, therefore, Internet users trying to find an Internet
address are able to 'guess' the address by taking a person's or
company's name and add to it it's likely 'community' or Second Level
Domain Name (2LD). For example - a person trying to find the XYZ
company would try and would probably be correct. Other
examples are the Purple Sun Volunteer organisation at , and the Central Government's Department of New and Improved at .
Consultation on the need for immediate expansion of the ".nz"
namespace was undertaken at the 'Second National Summit on
International Internet Governance Changes' in June 2000.
( The issue arose as the
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers moved towards
creation of new gTLD's (see below).
The conclusions were that the current situation of the ten
2LD's  in ".nz", 85% were in ""  Volume is the main
driver for expanding gTLD's (at that stage 10 Million ".com" names), by
comparison the total for "" (in June 2000) was 55,000. 
Volume is not a driver to expand Second Level Domain Name's in ".nz". "
They noted that there may "be case for limited additional 2LD's. 
Must be distinct.
Moderation aspects.
Need absolutely clear rules
Very difficult to remove a 2LD"
Perceive "Inhibitors:
Dilution of name values may be caused by adding 2LD's.
May also add confusion
Will add cost for organisations in multiple domains
Branding can be achieved within existing domain space"
CREATION OF NEW Second Level Domain Name's IN NZ - PROCESS

The process for creating a new Second Level Domain Name is set out
on the Society's website at . (attached).
The process entails seven stages:
Proposal from 'community of interest'
Public discussion via dedicated mailing list or web fora for a period of 60 to 90 days
Non-binding email 'straw poll' to see if threshold support level is achieved (at least 70% of votes cast and at least 200 votes)
If successful, payment of application fee, and Public Submissions opened for 30 to 60  days
The Council The Internet Society of New Zealand meets to consider Submissions and issues an Interim Decision
Interim Decision opened for Public Comment for 14 days
The next formal meeting of the Society's Council makes a binding Final Decision.
CREATION OF NEW Second Level Domain Name's IN NZ  - POLICY

The policy for the creation of new Second Level Domain Name's can be
found at  (attached).
ICANN and the expansion of the gTLD Namespace
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)
which was created in 1999 has as it's key task the expansion of the
Global, or Generic, Top Level Domains (gTLD's) Namespace. Most people
think of the gTLD's namespace as ".com". The ".com's" have led the
internet revolution because of their popularity for the commercial part
of the Internet. Less well known are ".gov", ".mil", ".org", ".gen",
".net", and ".int" (for international treaty-based organisations)
The nature of the Internet means that two people or organisations
cannot have the same name in the same part of the Namespace - for
example, there can only be one "". [The same rules apply to
Second Level Domain Names in the ccTLD's such as ".nz" and ".uk"].
The ".com" area of the gTLD's was intended for international
commercial activities. However, as the USA has not made much use of
their own Country Code Top Level Domain (ccTLD) Namespace, ".us," most
of the more than 10 million registrations in ".com" are American
businesses and individuals. This has led to perceived "shortages" of
names and ICANN was tasked with fairly and equitably expanding the
namespace. In a sometimes stormy process of international public
consultation (see Congressional Hearings on the process, ICANN announced seven new "proof of concept"
gTLD's last November. These are listed in the table below. (see The new TLDs are not expected to be
operational until at least the second quarter of 2001.




Air-transport industry






Unrestricted use




For registration by individuals


Accountants, lawyers, and physicians

© 2001 The Internet Society of New Zealand
Last updated 6 March 2001

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