In a similar move to the UK’s decision to open up its Internet namespace to second level registrations, New Zealand is set to allow registrations in .NZ directly.
The country’s registry, the NZ Domain Name Commission, will accept .NZ registrations from September 30th.
Anyone with an existing name in one of New Zealand’s 3rd level domains will be eligible for Preferential Registration Eligibility, providing the existing name was registered before February 11, 2014.
Opening up New Zealand’s second level is a move that makes sense as country code suffixes (ccTLDs for country code Top Level Domains) face increased competition from the hundreds of new generic domains (gTLDs) currently being rolled out.
The UK’s own scheme to make its 2nd level available proved instantly popular when it launched in June.
Nez Zealand’s namespace will be looking to boost current registrations volumes by going .NZ direct. At the end of June 2014, there were 552,064 active domains in the country’s namespace. The most popular domain is .CO.NZ (475,702 registrations at the end of June) but New Zealand also has 14 other 3rd level domains such as .GEN.NZ or GEEK.NZ.