NZ web users may get .kiwi domain

By Pat Pilcher

A percentage of .kiwi domain purchase prices will go towards the rebuilding of Christchurch. Photo / Thinkstock
A percentage of .kiwi domain purchase prices will go towards the rebuilding of Christchurch. Photo / Thinkstock

The days of 'dubdubdub.co.nz' could be set to change as a company called Dot Kiwi Limited has applied to the body that administers internet domain names for a .kiwi domain.

Dot Kiwi CEO, Tim Johnson, is hoping that the .kiwi domain will resonate with New Zealanders both locally and globally.

"I was keen to provide a way for New Zealanders around the world to connect and claim their Kiwiness online," said Johnson.

New Zealanders who register a .kiwi internet domain name will also see a percentage of their registration fees being donated to help rebuild Christchurch.

Dot Kiwi Limited was formed by a group of expat New Zealanders based in Vancouver and includes Peter Dengate Thrush, a barrister specialising in intellectual property, competition and internet law.

He has been the past chairs of both Internet New Zealand and ICANN and has been involved with the global body since its inception.

While most of us these find ourselves typing .co.nz on auto pilot, websites and online services with a .kiwi domain name will help bring a distinctly New Zealand flavour to the internet.

Should Dot Kiwi's application for the .kiwi domain be approved, the domain should become available for purchase in early 2013.

New tlds

Last Thursday, a vast array of new domain names was put up for grabs in the biggest change in the history of ther internet. Never mind dot.com and dot.co.uk - everything from dot.coke to dot.london will be available from November.

It presents companies with a quandary. Should they grab what they can, at great expense, or let cybersquatters do their worst? Topshop could bid for dot.topshop while Pepsi will try to buy dot.pepsi, but only the richest need apply. No wonder some of the world's biggest consumer brands aren't exactly delighted by the move.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), the body in charge of internet addresses, is releasing as many as 1,000 new ``generic top-level domains'' (gTLDs).

The California-based charity that governs the rules of internet will accept applications for new domains until April, and then will spend the summer deciding which it will allow.

The idea behind the move was to allow a number of non-English speaking countries - such as the growing number of Arabic and Chinese internet users - to benefit from new domains.

But America's Association of National Advertisers (ANA) has been vocal against Icann's plans, citing the major issues of the lack of benefit to the consumer, the huge cost and the risk of fraud.

"While we are constantly looking for innovative ways to engage with our consumers, we must weigh this against the potential impact any proposed changes in top-level domains would have on our ability to protect our trademarks, which are among our most valuable assets,'' a Coca-Cola spokeswoman said.

- NZ HERALD STAFF/THE INDEPENDENT

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 21 Dec 2014 09:58:23 Processing Time: 1007ms