Starting this week until Christmas, a small number of Kiwis will now be able to sign-up to reserve their favourite .kiwi domain names, and be a part of the .kiwi Pioneer Programme.
Pioneers will be among the first people in the world to have access to new email addresses and websites ending in .kiwi, rather than .com, .net, .co.nz, .kiwi.nz or other similar .nz formats.
This follows the historic contract signing with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), officially designating Dot Kiwi Limited (“Dot Kiwi”) as the registry for the .kiwi domain.
.kiwi is the first and only New Zealand-based generic top level domain name approved by ICANN, and will be one of the first in the world to become available.
Tim Johnson, Dot Kiwi CEO, says it’s been a long journey from deciding to create a unique domain for New Zealanders, to actually signing the contract with ICANN.
"Being Kiwi sets us aside on the world stage, and for so many business sectors it’s what defines us," Johnson says.
"We’re excited that .kiwi will create an online short hand for people to use in their websites and email addresses. It’ll quickly tell each other and our customers who we are, and what sets us apart.
“New Zealanders have become used to .co.nz, but it doesn’t actually tell anyone about who you are outside of New Zealand.
"The .nz domain communicates where you or your business is based, but .kiwi tells them what kind of person or entity you are. The .kiwi domain will move beyond the stock standard approach to domain names, and will send a very influential message."
The launch of .kiwi has been designed to ensure that trademark owners can register their marks as .kiwi domain names – before the general public has the opportunity to.
This ‘Trademark Period’ will help protect brands, reduce cybersquatting and increase consumer security on the internet in New Zealand and around the world. Trademark holders are advised to contact Dot Kiwi regarding the Trademark Period.
Speaking specifically about InternetNZ’s introduction of .nz as a top level domain name Johnson says, “Being able to create domain names such as myname.nz, is much simpler than myname.co.nz, and we think that’s great for internet users to have this choice.
"But there is going to be confusion as two different businesses could end up owning very similar domain names, one at .nz and the other at .co.nz.”
.kiwi will be the first of many domain names created to connect people’s online identity with both their geographical and cultural identity. Both Londoners and New Yorkers will eventually be able to use websites ending in .london and .nyc. Domains names will also become available in Chinese, Arabic, Russian and other non-English scripts.
The .kiwi Pioneer Programme will be open to a limited number of businesses and individuals, referred to as the .kiwi ’Launch Community’, who want to be a part of the first wave of .kiwi domain names.
To register your interest in reserving a .kiwi domain name, visit www.dot-kiwi.com.