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July 2020 

Message from the Commissioner

Kia ora, 

This month the Commission welcomes the independent panel’s findings regarding a comprehensive review of .nz policies.  

The review builds on a policy framework that has stood the test of time for .nz serving the local Internet community well for more than fifteen years. 

The Panel’s soon to be released solutions paper addresses a number of issues it identified in its report into the .nz domain name space.  

The Commission is looking forward to seeing what principles the Panel has proposed and how the Commission might respond to illegal and harmful activity in the .nz domain name space. The oversight of a privacy option for registrants, Commissioner powers, and complaint handling principles are also of keen interest to the Commission. 

We will be including a link to the consultation on our home page when the submission process opens on 16 July 2020. 

Other notable work for the Commission this month has been with pricing and our six monthly release of domain name market pricing data.

Before this year’s 2020 Election and Referenda we are also working with stakeholders and registrants to ensure awareness of their responsibilities to be contactable at their domain name registration details.  

I hope this mid-Winter you have something celebratory planned and Happy Matariki to you all!


Ngā mihi,
Brent Carey
 

Pricing

We have completed our six monthly review of the wholesale and retail pricing for .nz domain names. 

Our new data has shown that in the six months to June of 2020, since we last reported on pricing, there has been some noticeable changes. The lowest price of a .nz domain has gone down while the highest and the average for our top 12 retail registrars has risen.

The results of our review have been added to our pricing table.
 

Contact centre news 

The team is now back in the office following a record period of contacts during remote working at a time of COVID-19. 

Our contact centre had a 146% increase in demand this year compared to the previous March-June 2019 period. We handled 404 enquiries last year between 1st March - 31st May 2019 compared to this year’s 996 first contacts. 

Any, our chatbot, showed us just how much they were needed throughout the pandemic handling more than 555 enquiries. They helped out with our busiest month (from over the last 12 months) in May by handling 217 out of 318 queries that had come through our customer service channels.

We’ve also seen an increase in Any’s conversation score, and this is something that we are trying to continually increase so that accurate, relevant, and timely information can be provided when needed. 


 

Registrar compliance 

During the quarter, our compliance team has been focusing on the topic of privacy in the .nz domain namespace to ensure that registrars are meeting .nz policy requirements.

We have identified a number of areas that we will be following up with specific registrars, including where the .nz privacy option is being applied incorrectly, to other privacy data quality issues relating to registration information.
 

ICANN68

ICANN68 took place virtually, during regular working Kuala Lumpur times. 

A key theme of the conference was DNS abuse mitigation and security threats in particular relating to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Of interest to us was an end users session which sought to address the concerns of individual users worldwide during the COVID-19 pandemic, disinformation, public health and surveillance. It raised a number of questions on how to best protect end-users’ interests in the time of the pandemic, in cases of advanced data collection, including through online and mobile service providers.   


Dispute resolution service

Thank you to those lawyers and legal firms who have expressed an interest in being added to a list of providers of domain name dispute resolution services.  

If you are someone who can be a legal representative of an applicant or respondent then please get in touch at drs@dnc.org.nz.
 

.nz policy review coming and needs your feedback

The InternetNZ appointed independent panel charged with reviewing all .nz policies will be releasing its solutions paper on 16 July 2020 for public comment. The Panel will be seeking submissions over a four week period. We encourage all our subscribers to give the Panel their feedback. 
 

Guide to liquidators

Our new guide to liquidators helps explain what happens with domain names associated with a company in liquidation. Have a read and please share it with anyone who might be interested.  


 

Tip for registrars

.nz domain names need to be registered to properly constituted organisations or individuals. This means that domain names can’t be registered to specific job titles (i.e. Domain Admin). 

Having domain names registered to generic terms as above, can cause issues when trying to reinstate domain names, or trying to transfer domain names to a different provider. 
 

Tip for registrants

When reaching out to your registrar please remember that they may have a delay in getting back to you so it pays to check the terms and conditions you signed up for to check when you should receive a response.

For non-urgent matters if you don’t hear back from your registrar after 5 or so days you may want to escalate your correspondence to us.

 

Safer online shopping practices

It’s school ball season time and typically we receive more reports of .nz domain names associated with websites targeting young people to purchase their ball gown or tuxedo. We’ve published a new blog to give some pointers about safer online shopping practices. 
 

Interesting links and media 


 
 
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