Typing slip takes savers to porn site

By Abby Gillies

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

One slip up when typing in a website address, and those looking to save for their retirement could instead be looking at semi-nude women.

KiwiSaver is considering taking action over the potential mix-up that could see customers directed to escort agency 'Sexy Kiwi Girls' - a business that shares a similar domain name to the official KiwiSaver website.

Unsuspecting savers who type www.kiwisaver.org.nz rather than official domain www.kiwisaver.govt.nz are directed to the Auckland-based company, which offers escorts, strippers and adult services.

A spokesman for Inland Revenue, which administers members' KiwiSaver contributions said they were aware of the domain name "and we are considering our options".

"We are aware that there are other domain names that include the name 'KiwiSaver', however people wanting information on the initiative should go to the official website at www.kiwisaver.govt.nz or contact Inland Revenue or a scheme provider," said the spokesman.

More than 1.7 million New Zealanders have joined KiwiSaver to build their retirement savings since the scheme was launched in 2007.

A representative for Wireless Media, which owns the 'Sexy Kiwi Girls' site, said he was not aware of the site but was delighted by the link, which he described as "very smart action in diverting kiwisaver.org to our porn site".

"I wasn't aware of that but good on him. Someone's done that as a joke, isn't that funny," he said.

The site was registered in 2005 by David Henderson in Wellington, according to Domain Change Commission.

"I'm honoured to think he's aware of my website and possibly uses it. I'm flattered. He's done that to have a shot at Kiwisaver and good on him.

"I think it's a great idea and I'm right behind David in his decision," said the representative, who did not wish to be named.

Well-known Auckland and Christchurch-based property developers, both named David Henderson, denied any knowledge of or involvement with the domain.

Sexy Kiwi Girls was set up 2007. About 600 people log onto the site each day and its core business is during 9am-5pm in central Wellington and Auckland, said the representative.

Registering a domain was a simple process and was a "first-come, first-served basis", said Domain Name Commission (DNC) senior support analyst Alison McKenzie.

Anyone aged over 18 could apply to register a domain, which involved contacting a registrar, filling in an online form and paying a fee, she said.

The cost of a being a registrar of a domain name was $1.25 per month plus GST.

Disputes are a common occurrence, said Ms McKenzie.

"There are regularly disputes over who should be the registrant of the domain name and often that's around similar-named business and those kinds of things."

In such situations businesses could negotiate with the existing registrant, take legal action through the court, or use the DNC disputes resolution service.

In some cases people would register a domain name linked to an existing business with the aim of making a profit out of it.

If a complaint over the KiwiSaver domain was lodged with the DNC, it could possibly result in a change of registrant, said Ms McKenzie.

"If the expert determines that it should belong to the KiwiSaver scheme he would bring down a determination that says that the domain name should be transferred.

In a recent similar case, Massey University successfully lodged a complaint against Progressive Solutions Ltd over the registration of domain name massey.co.nz.

It said the names were unfair and likely to "confuse, mislead or deceive" as the registrant had no connection to the name or trademark.

The complaint was upheld and the disputed domain was transferred to Massey University.

Businesses could protect themselves from such confusion by buying all similar domain names, said Ms Mckenzie.

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