The past year has seen significant changes to the New Zealand domain landscape, with new domain offerings enabling businesses to shorten their website and email addresses.
Since 1 May 2014, the .kiwi domain name became available for businesses, bloggers and individuals to register. In the last 12 months since, Dot Kiwi has now sold more 12,000 .kiwi domain names.
Dot Kiwi launched a completely new option to the market for customers wishing to be associated with New Zealand on the internet.
.kiwi is the only New Zealand-based generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) approved by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) as part of its new domain programme. The programme will usher in more than 1,400 new domains such as .cafe, .organic and .london.
Angus Richardson, managing director of Dot Kiwi, says in the last year the New Zealand internet community has gone through a lot of change with the launch of its own gTLD, .kiwi, and changes to .co.nz.
In September last year, it was announced any person or business could register a shorter .nz domain name, and current website owners had until March 1 to register the .nz version of their .co.nz, .org.nz and .net.nz website address. As of January 2015, 600,000 people had registered a .nz address. This figure, along with the 12,000 .kiwi addresses, highlights the support for shorter domain names.
“The new generation of domain names is still in its infancy, but is undergoing rapid growth,” Richardson says. “Gone are the days where Kiwis have to use .com or .net, now they can choose from a plethora of new domain names to better describe themselves or their organisation.”
Richardson says .kiwi sales have put it ahead of most of the new domains around the world. “We’re in the top 25%of the new gTLDs globally for sales volumes, showing New Zealanders have definitely come on board to try new domain name options,” he says
Some of the organisations using .kiwi domain names include Kiwibank (www.inner.kiwi), the Vodafone Warriors (www.warriors.kiwi) and the New Zealand Winter Games (wintergamesnz.kiwi). New Zealand comedian, Dai Henwood, and Kiwi triathlon legend, Bevan Docherty have also registered .kiwi domain names – using dai.kiwi and docherty.kiwi, respectively.
“One thing that’s great to see is there’s been a healthy proportion of people using their .kiwi domains for new websites or email,” Richardson adds.
“It was also positive to see registrations of the new .nz start to emerge since .kiwi launched last year. Australia is now considering allowing people to purchase .au rather than .com.au. It shows that New Zealand is leading the way internationally,” he says.
“The .nz domain communicates where a person or their business is geographically, but .kiwi tells them what kind of person or entity they are, no matter where in the world they may be,” the company says of its difference to the .nz domain.
.kiwi domain names are sold for between $30 and $50.
.kiwi was one of the first domain names created to connect people’s online identity with both their geographical and cultural identity. Since .kiwi’s launch, ICANN has also approved domains specifically for Londoners, New Yorkers, Parisians and Berliners.