At the end of this month the .nz domain name space will undergo a momentous, once only change. From 1pm, 30 September 2014 (NZDT) people will be able to register or reserve domain names in the second level directly before the .nz – e.g. anyname.nz

The Domain Name Commission is offering some Registrants the option to reserve the shorter version of their .nz domain name for up to two years. Reserving the shorter version of a name gives Registrants time to decide whether they want it or not, without anyone else being able to register it in that time.

A two-year time frame was deemed a sufficient enough amount of time for Registrants with the reserving option to consider the idea. It would also give, for example, businesses, clubs and other types of bodies time to change their signs, vehicles, etc. to incorporate their new domain name.

Those eligible to reserve can do so by going to the www.anyname.nz website with their Unique Domain Authentication Identifier (UDAI) from 1pm, 30 September 2014. Though it should be noted that anyone who chooses to reserve their .nz domain name directly at the second level will no longer have any rights to this name if they let their existing domain name lapse.

When Nominet opened up the second level of the .uk namespace, they gave priority to registrants in the .co.uk namespace over those in other second levels such as .org.uk, net.uk or .me.uk. The Domain Name commissioner for .nz has taken a different approach which doesn’t offer precedence for co.nz or precedence for earlier registration dates.

“For reasons of fairness, where there is more than one Registrant competing for a .nz domain name to be registered directly at the second level the Domain Name Commission does not believe preference could be given to the oldest registration.

Similarly, the Domain Name Commission does not believe one second level should have preference over any other. For example, the Registrant of anyname.co.nz should not be treated differently to the Registrant of anyname.school.nz.

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