ⓘ .nz


ⓘ .nz

.nz is the Internet country code top-level domain for New Zealand. It is administered by InternetNZ, with oversight and dispute resolution handled by the Domain Name Commission Limited. Registrations are processed via authorised registrars. As of 30 September 2019 there were 711.945 domains.


1. History

As with many long-standing domain registries the registry was maintained informally for some time. The first formally recognised administrative organisation was the University of Waikato until the responsibility was delegated to InternetNZ when it was formed in 1995.

Prior to the current structure, the registry operator was Domainz. Historically, Domainz was a subsidiary of InternetNZ which also operated as a registrar and vendor of other add-on services such as DNS. This combination of a natural monopoly the registry activities and vertical integration the registrar and other services was seen by some as restricting competition so InternetNZ moved to separate the provision of registry services into a separate organisation with strong oversight. The final part of this transition process was the sale of Domainz to Melbourne IT in August 2003.

From 1 April 2008 the "Office of the Domain Name Commissioner" several employees of InternetNZ, including the Domain Name Commissioner herself became the "Domain Name Commission Limited", a subsidiary company of InternetNZ.


2. Second-level domains

There are a number of second-level domains that identify whether the user is a company, a non-commercial organisation, government body or other classification.

In October 2013, InternetNZ decided to allow domain names to be registered at the second level in domain name space, aligning domain name space with a majority of other top level domains that already allow registrations directly at the second level. The second level domain names were launched with a sunrise period from 30 September 2014 to 30 March 2015 to allow people with similar domains to register the shorter version. From 30 March domain names were available to everyone.

The early New Zealand second-level domains were based on those used in the UK. At the time it was considered desirable that the names were not in use as first-level domains, were rejected. There are also sub-level domains unique to New Zealand, such as for Māori iwi and the broader for other Māori organisations, and for geeks.

The following second-level domains are in use with their official descriptions. Since only some of the domains are moderated, it is possible to register outside the area intended.


2.1. Second-level domains Unmoderated

  • – Individuals and other organisations not covered elsewhere
  • – For people who are concentrative, technically skilled and imaginative who are generally adept with computers
  • – Organisations and service providers directly related to the NZ Internet
  • – Not-for-profit organisations
  • – Māori people, groups, and organisations
  • – For people or organisations that associate with being Kiwi the colloquial term for New Zealanders
  • – Primary, secondary and pre-schools and related organisations
  • – Tertiary educational institutions and related organisations
  • .nz – First level NZ domain, general use.
  • – Organisations pursuing commercial aims and purposes

2.2. Second-level domains Previously used

  • – used for an Archie search engine server operated by the University of Waikato until the mid-1990s.

3. Registry software and protocol

The shared registry system SRS, initially developed in 2002, is both the name of the registry system and the name of one of two main protocols, SRS protocol, used to communicate with the registry system. Since 2010, the SRS has also supported the extensible provisioning protocol EPP, which is now a common standard used by registries.

The SRS has been released as open source software, the last published version was made in 2010 and can be found on SourceForge.

In September 2019, InternetNZ announced their intention to replace the SRS and that the new system will not include the SRS protocol.


4. Māori domain names

On 22 July 2010, the Domain Name Commission announced domain names with macron vowels ā, ē, ī, ō and ū would be available from the following week to allow Māori language words to be correctly represented in domain names.