‘Second level’ domains like the .co in ‘.co.nz’ and the .org in ‘.org.nz’ are now optional. You can register .nz names with them, without them, or both.
Depending on what domains you own and when they were registered, they may have preferential registration or reservation (PRR) status to the shorter .nz version/s. This means that you may have the ability to purchase or reserve the shorter version of your domain name before anyone else.
You have until 1 pm 30 March 2015 if you want to rely on PRR status to purchase or reserve the shorter domain name.
You will not be able to rely on PRR status if there are multiple registrations for the same domain name at the second level. If, for example, both ‘[client domain].co.nz’ and ‘[client domain].net.nz’ are registered domain names, then the status of ‘[client domain].nz’ will be set as ‘conflicted’. Until 1 pm 30 March, you will have a number of options for dealing with a conflicted status including a situation where you are conflicted with yourself.
After 30 March 2015 PRR rights expire and anyone can reserve the shorter .nz version of your domain.
Do I need a .nz domain?
Holding an earlier registered domain name, owning a registered New Zealand trade mark or having a company registered in New Zealand under a particular name does not automatically entitle you to a shorter ‘.nz’ domain name.
Any disputes over who has the better right to a domain name can still, however, be referred to the Dispute Resolution Service of the Domain Name Commission. Therefore you do not need to defensively register the .nz domain if your brand is properly protected by trade mark registration.
How do I check my PRR status?
If you have an existing second level domain name you should go to the ‘anyname.co.nz’ website from 30 September with your Unique Domain Authentication Identifier (UDAI) to check your position or if you prefer request assistance from us.
If you are interested in registering your .nz domain, please contact us.
This article is intended to summarise potentially complicated legal issues, and is not intended to be a substitute for individual legal advice. If you would like further information, please contact a Baldwins representative.