When choosing a domain for your company, you now have even more options thanks to changes that came into effect on 30 September 2014.

Until now you could only register 3rd level domains ending in .nz, such as tailgunner.co.nz, or stuff.co.nz. Now it’s possible to register 2nd level domains, getting rid of the “.co”, to have domains such as tailgunner.nz and stuff.nz.

The reason for the change is to bring it in line with international standards, as well as make it fairer for entities that don’t necessarily consider themselves commercial. However, you’ll always be able to make a choice – .org.nz and .co.nz domains will remain available.

We highly recommend you register these new .nz domains. We’ll be doing it to protect our brand, even though we’ll continue to use our existing domain.

If you were to register for the new domain, it would be easy to point it to your existing site, and visitors wouldn’t have to type in a new address to find your website.

Fortunately, the anyname.nz system is setup to protect entities with an established presence already. It’s all a bit fiddly, but there are several main categories that .nz domains will fall into:

Preferential Registration. If you already own a long form domain, you’ll have 6 months from the 30th of September to have priority to obtain the shortened version, which you can hold onto for free for a limited time. This is meant to help protect website owners from having the domain name swiped from them, and having to pay someone in order to get it back.

Conflicted Registration. If you hold domain.co.nz and someone else holds domain.org.nz, there may be a conflict if you both want to claim the shortened .nz domain name. From September 30th there’ll be an online tool made available where both participants can make their claim, relinquish ownership, or state why they don’t think anyone should get it. This will then be assessed on a case by case basis and sorted by the Domain Name Commission.

Available. If a name hasn’t been registered as a 2nd level (.co.nz, etc) domain, it’ll be freely available on a first come first served basis, so you’ll need to be quick if you want to snap it up.

Unavailable. Some 2nd level domains such as .govt.nz won’t be available as a .nz domain.

If you’d like to know more about getting a second-level domain for your business, talk to us today and we’ll try get it sorted for you.